Abta extends election rights to managed service members

Abta has updated its articles of association – the rules governing the organisation – to extend the right to stand for election to Abta positions to those operating managed branch offices.

Previously, only Abta members could stand for election. The change follows a resolution passed at an extraordinary general meeting of the association on May 23.

This amended the articles “to allow increased participation in Abta’s business by persons who operate branch offices of Abta members under managed branch agreements”, to whom it refers as ‘Ancillary Office Members’.

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It defines these as “a person, firm or corporation that is party to a contract with a member . . . and transacts business . . . other than as part of the member’s own corporate structure and as notified to Abta”.

An ancillary office member may in theory be appointed to the board of directors and elected chair of the association.

The Abta board and Council of Regions recommended the amendment as “a positive step forward in enhancing Abta representation of the entire business of Abta members”.

Abta head of membership Danny Waine said: “We’re really pleased to open up the opportunities to be involved in Abta to travel agent members who operate under managed branch agreements.

“If you run one of these businesses, you will now be able to put yourself forward for vacancies on Abta committees or the Council of Regions.”

Waine explained: “The managed branch model has been a developing trend for many years, and we’ve seen businesses move from being a member in their own right to one under a managed branch agreement. But prior to now, these members couldn’t take on official Abta roles, meaning we were missing out on the contribution of [some] fantastic people.

“Now we have the opportunity to harness the talent within the managed branch groups, capitalising on people’s experience and expertise to contribute to Abta’s work.”

He added: “I encourage managed branch members to consider putting themselves forward when future opportunities arise.”

Abta reported it had 831 members and 416 managed branches at the end of June 2023, the last date for which numbers are publicly available – down from 1,106 members in 2019 and 1,055 in 2020 as the sector has consolidated.

Members’ annual subscriptions rise by an average 7% from July 1.

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