With all the doom and gloom and travel agents closing, Abta rather stupidly in my opinion has decided not to hold a UK event so that hard up agents could attend.
Instead they have decided to hold their silly conference in Barcelona, which will be rather poorly attended, adding more travel expense…
The news follows the recent announcement that the 2009 Travel Convention will be held in Barcelona.
At this year’s convention in Gran Canaria, chief executive Mark Tanzer outlined plans for an additional series of two or three UK events to ensure agents who could not afford to go to the main convention did not miss out.
These would have covered the same content as the main event.
But head of development Andy Cooper confirmed the association had debated the issue and thought 2009 was not the right year to try out a new format, while sponsorship of such events was unlikely in the current economic downturn.
He said: “It’s unlikely we will do anything in the current year looking at the practicalities of getting funding to make it work and the logistics. The cost of hotel rooms in the UK is so expensive that doing an overseas conference is not more expensive than doing it here.”
Meanwhile, ABTA is undergoing a strategic review of what the association stands for and its direction as an organisation.
It has already conducted focus groups, interviews with staff and the media. The results of the research are to be put to the board in mid-January.
Cooper added: “We will draw up proposals to look at the whole programme of ABTA’s future.”