Members to consider restructure proposals

ABTA is to unveil its blueprint for the future to members across the country over the next month after regional chairmen

broadly welcomed the association’s proposals.

Newman Street stressed that the plans, which include the formation of a new super council, are not cast in stone.

After outlining the proposals to regional chairmen, chief executive Ian Reynolds said:”We are merely floating an idea at this stage.”

Greater London region chairman Gerry Fernback said the association was heading in the right direction but was not going far enough.

“It is ignoring the basic problem that there are two opposing sides,” he said. “Operators and agents have different views and in the end there is a compromise which neither side is happy with.

“This problem will not go away with an enlarged board. I would like to see the formation of two associations.”

Fernback however welcomed the setting up of a regional council.

Midland region chairwoman Sue Foxall also praised the increased involvement of the regions.

“There is only one regional chairman who is also on Travel Agents’ Council at the moment,” she said. “That can’t be right. The new structure would give the regions five or six places on the main board.”

Eastern chairman Daniel Broccoll said the association would be more cost-effective and streamlined while northeast chairman Roderick Thomson predicted the new board would end the divisions between TAC and TOC.

Southwestern region chairman Roger Warren said it was important the wishes of the vertically integrated companies did not dictate the association.