From left to right: Melissa West – Bournemouth University; Caitlin Pickford – Cardiff Metropolitan University; Stevie Maher – University of Plymouth; Charlene Pink – University of Surrey; Eleanor Greatorex – Leeds Beckett University.

Abta has chosen its latest intern from five students who spent the day at the association’s London headquarters to get a taste of the travel industry

Sustainability will be the focus for Abta’s fifth intern, who will take on a research project for the association having been chosen for her impressive knowledge on the travel industry and essay on the issue.

Charlene Pink, an international tourism management student at the University of Surrey, is the association’s fifth intern in five years.

The 22-year-old was chosen from a shortlist of five candidates, who attended Abta’s London headquarters for a selection day on March 20 and heard from various teams about their roles at the association.

This included presentations from Abta’s communications, legal and sustainability teams.

Members of the association’s financial protection and public affairs teams also presented to the students in order to showcase the range of roles at Abta which represent the wider travel sector.

Chosen intern Charlotte Pink will work with Travelife in July, working daily with the team as well as undertaking a research project for Abta.

Vicki Wolf, education partnerships manager at Abta said: “All of the candidates impressed our team. The standard was extremely high and it was very difficult to make a decision.

“Charlene particularly impressed the interview panel with her clear, well thought through answers in the interview. She also impressed the panel with her knowledge of the travel industry and excellent essay on the impact of sustainability on the purchase decisions of UK travellers.”

Woolf urged Abta members to contact universities that are already affiliated to the association.

“I would really encourage Abta Members who are considering an intern to advertise their opportunities to our Partner Universities. All the students have chosen to study travel and tourism and therefore have a sound knowledge of the industry and a passion to work in the sector.

“Every one of our interns have been excellent and have made a valuable contribution to the team, in a short space of time. They really do hit the ground running.”

This year’s internship candidates were chosen from five of Abta’s partner universities.

They were Stevie Maher, from Plymouth University; Eleanor Greatorex, from Leeds Beckett University; Caitlin Pickford, from Cardiff Metropolitan University; Melissa West, from Bournemouth University; and Charlene Pink, from the University of Surrey.

Abta members who would like to get in touch with partner universities can do so by contacting education partnerships manager Vicki Wolf via or by contacting the universities directly. They are all listed in the Partner Area and Education zone on

Charlene Pink, University of Surrey

“I’m studying international tourism management at the University of Surrey. I applied for the internship at Abta because I have a lot of interest in sustainability and marketing.

Charlene-abta“A large portion of the internship will be centred around a campaign with Travelife, which I’ve learnt about on my course. I had incorporated them into a few of my assignments, so I was familiar with what they do before I went to Abta’s headquarters.

“I wrote an essay about the impact sustainability has, and will have, on travellers’ purchasing decisions. It looked at how sustainability affects decisions, and how it sometimes gets overlooked. I can see sustainability having a greater impact on decisions in the future – and a rise in sustainable tourism and more authentic travel. It’s already changed compared to ten years ago but there are still more obstacles.

”My dream job would be working in marketing for a small or medium-sized tour operator with a focus on sustainability, and hopefully I’m at a reasonable level at a company in the next five years.”