TARGET holds its first meeting with ABTA

By Lisa James
Home » TARGET holds its first meeting with ABTA

Agent campaign group TARGET has met with senior ABTA representatives to discuss concerns and suggest ideas for new ways of working.

The meeting was originally scheduled for four hours and overran by 90 minutes, with a number of TARGET proposals still to be discussed, Co-Founders Jill Waite and Graeme Brett said.

ABTA said it will respond to the points raised in the New Year.

The meeting discussed current ABTA services, support and representation for members as well as suggestions for new ways to represent and support ABTA members in the future leading to attracting more businesses to join ABTA.

Ms Waite said: “This was a huge opportunity to be able to influence the way ABTA operates in the future.

“We are hoping for a follow-up meeting to cover the outstanding issues we raised.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to discuss our proposals and for the support of travel colleagues Helen Parry, Jane Logue and David Carruthers for their constructive input at the meeting.”

Mr Brett added: “There has been a substantial amount of internal friction in the travel industry since March 2020, and we all want to bridge the gaps and getting tour operator, travel agents, consortia and trade bodies working closely together again.

“Part of that challenge is making sure that ABTA is seen by all members as representing tour operators and travel agents equally.

“At the moment most TARGET members do not see ABTA as being fully representative of travel agents and the proposals we have put forward would, in our opinion, address that issue and see more travel agents participating and able to afford to play a full role in ABTA events.”

One of the issues is membership of the ABTA board.

“Out of 13 board members only two are classed as travel agents and only three are female. Of those three only one works in the travel industry,” Mr Brett said.

“In an industry where nearly 80% of employees are female that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Ms Waite added: “It was very helpful to have a face-to-face meeting and explain the reasoning for our proposals.

“ABTA has agreed to look into all of the proposals we put forward and respond in the New Year.”

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