The Tourism Society and The Tourism Management Institute (TMI) unveiled their plans to join forces yesterday following a unanimous vote by TMI members to fully integrate with the Tourism Society at the TMI annual general meeting (AGM).

Integration will be effective from 01 January 2010.

Tourism Society members had also voted unanimously in favour of integration at their AGM in July. Integration will increase membership of the joint organisation by 20% and ensure a significant representation for destination managers within the association. TMI members will automatically be offered full membership from 01 January 2010 of the Tourism Society as well as of the autonomous TMI sector group giving them the added benefit of the Tourism Society's infrastructure, journal and events, whilst ensuring a continued destination management focus.

TMI President, Roger Platt said at the AGM: 'We are confident that the unified organisation will be an even stronger, financially secure body and that the TMI Sector will remain an obvious choice for destination managers.'

TMI polled all of its members about the proposed integration receiving a 40% response rate. Of those, 89% were in favour of proceeding to integration. TMI's expertise in continual professional development (CPD) will be a benefit that existing Tourism Society members will be able to take advantage of.

Platt welcomed the vote in favour of integration: "This is great news for both TMI and the Tourism Society, bringing added strengths to both organisations. It is also a win-win for TMI members, who will retain all of their existing benefits as well as gaining plenty more by becoming members of the Tourism Society with a minimal increase in the membership fee".

The new TMI Sector will be an autonomous group of the Tourism Society in the same way as the Tourism Consultants Network and regional Tourism Society chapters in Scotland, Wales, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

Alison Cryer FTS Tourism Society Chairman said: "The Tourism Society Board is delighted with the decision taken at both AGMs to integrate the two organisations, forming a stronger body with mutual benefits from regional chapters to the CPD programme.

"It makes total sense for organisations with such a lot of common interests and aims to join forces and minimise on overheads and overlapping memberships".

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