A unanimous vote in favour of supporting the candidacy of Roger Allard for ABTA President, was reached at last weeks Association of Travel Agents (ATA) meeting.
The vote was lead by the ATA’s high street members, which potentially will be able to mobilise a significant number of votes if all their individual members follow the lead of their consortia head offices.
Steve Endacott CEO of On Holiday Group, one of the founding members of the ATA said: “ We formed the ATA as a single issue body to fight for fair treatment of Agents within the impending European Travel Package Regulations and to balance out the power held by the UK tour operators within ABTA. It is key that the ATA unites the voices of independent high street agents and on-line travel agents and this unanimous vote clearly shows we are achieving this”.
The general view of the ATA was that Roger Allard was a highly respected and experienced member of the travel industry, who could unite all key sectors of the ABTA church, with his detailed knowledge of tour operating, travel agents and Cruise.
Bill Munroe owner of Barrhead Travel said “ I have the greatest respect for Noel, but he is clearly an old school tour operator and in the current circumstances would be a highly divisive figure to lead ABTA. Roger Allard has a much more balanced background and does not head a traditional tour operation with the natural bias that this brings”.
John Hays said “ The ATA have decided to back Roger Allard on the basis of his broad range of travel experience and his proven ability to effectively lobby important stake holders such as the CAA. For me the decision was based solely on the merits of each candidate, although I do accept that Noel could be a divisive appointment.”
The ATA was also quick to point out that when Travel Republic’s Kane Pirie resigned from the board that he was not replaced with an travel agent and the further loss of John McEwan from the board leaves it relatively light of travel agency representation as a whole and contains no representative of the OTA community on the board.