ABTA defends further hike in members’ fees

ABTA fees
By Linsey McNeill
Home » ABTA defends further hike in members’ fees

ABTA has confirmed a 7% increase in members subscription fees for 2024/25, which follows an 8.5% rise last year.

However, it said that some members will see bigger increases in their fees this year and around a third will pay less than last year.

Head of Membership Danny Waine explained that this was due to a reversion to pre-pandemic methods of calculating total subscriptions.

“By reverting to using the latest submitted annual turnover from members, one third will actually have a lower total subscriptions payment than last year, with only those with the highest increase in turnover since the pandemic having the highest increase in their subscription payment,” he said.

“We believe this is a fair approach to deciding the contribution each member makes.”

Danny further explained that since all members have been able to submit a year’s worth of accounts for the first time since COVID, it has been able to revert to its usual process of charging subs broadly in proportion to a member’s turnover rather than based on their pre-pandemic 2019 turnover.

“By returning to our usual processes, some members – whose turnover has declined since the pandemic – may see, as a result, a reduced subscription fee compared with last year. Conversely, members whose income has increased since the pandemic will in some circumstances find themselves with a greater increase than the 7% ‘headline rate’, while others will see a rise of under 7%,” he added.

ABTA has previously been criticised for its decision to hike its fees post-pandemic, but Danny pointed out that ABTA slashed its rates by 50% during COVID, which meant it had to take £3 million from its reserves to plug the gap and subsequently incur a loss.

To minimise the impact on members, it was agreed to recoup the money over an extended period. “The Board is following a managed path to return to a breakeven position so as not to increase subscription levels unduly quickly,” said ABTA, adding: “The managed path includes a continued focus on reducing expenditure.”

ABTA said its research with members showed that the numbers repaying government-backed loans, taken out during COVID, are now ‘a minority’.

Danny added: “ABTA’s work on behalf of its members is as vital as ever before. The environment in which this decision has been made is one of strengthening brand reputation, along with the provision of services that help members run their business, and a year of focus on member priorities such as education and training, sustainability and youth mobility.”

The fees must be paid by 1 July.

Share this article

Latest News