Nominations closed this week for the election of a director to represent small agents on Abta’s board.

Knock Travel proprietor Doreen McKenzie will stand against existing Abta board member Daniele Broccoli, of Britaly Travel, to represent businesses with a turnover of less than £20 million.

Voting closes on April 20 and the result will be revealed  on April 21. The pair contested the same position in 2009, when Broccoli won.

McKenzie, who sat on Abta’s board from 2003 for four years, said she would focus on the need for government to fund smaller businesses.

She said: “We need to focus on smaller businesses and source government funding to help us with training and leadership skills to help us innovate.

“There is still a need for bricks-and-mortar agents – more so following the ash crisis.

“These crises do not help the industry and we do not get praise for how well we handle them.”

Broccoli, who has served on Abta’s board since 2006, hopes to continue to be the voice of independent agents.

“I work on the front desk and it’s important the board knows what we, as agents, go through,” he said.

Abta is also seeking a replacement for Michael Knowles, Midlands representative on Abta’s Council of Regions, after Complete World Travel ceased trading a week ago with the loss of eight jobs.

Knowles was chairman of the Stratford upon Avon agency. It had an annual turnover of £5 million, but suffered from declining demand and was particularly badly hit by a debt of about £90,000 when a major customer went bust.