TOUR operators and travel agents at ABTA are at loggerheads over the funding of a technology helpline.

The association’s Travel Agents Council rejected appeals for £10,000 to keep the line running while the Tour Operators’ Council agreed to provide the cash. It will now be discussed by the ABTA Board of Directors.

TOC vice-chairman John Harding said the ABTECH helpline, which was set up in 1990 and gives advice on a range of technology problems, was an incentive for potential members.

He added the line would play a vital role with the millennium round the corner.

TAC vice-chairman Leslie Walsh said the 100-150 calls a month to the helpline did not warrant such expenditure.

Jetset managing director John Bond has taken over as chairman of ABTA’s Tour Operators Council following the resignation of Warren Sandral. Travelscene sales director John Harding has been made vice-chairman. Sandral will stay on the council.