Jamie Gardiner re-elected to Abta board

Jamie Gardiner, founder of direct-sell operator Diverse World, has been re-elected to Abta’s board, after gaining more votes from operator members than rival candidate Graeme Brett of Westoe Travel.

Abta held an election for the board position after Brett’s decision to throw his hat into the ring to represent principals with turnover of less than £50 million.

The ballot of operator members closed on Thursday (August 17).

Mark Tanzer, chief executive, congratulated Gardiner, who has been on Abta’s board since 2017 and has 20 years of experience working exclusively as an operator.

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“We really value the work Jamie has done on behalf of all members during his six years on the board and look forward to continuing to benefit from his insight and expertise,” Tanzer added.

“Graeme Brett is a valued Abta member and, while he may not be joining the Abta board, we’re pleased that Abta will still be able to capitalise on Graeme’s experience through his existing position on the Council of Regions, as chair of the northeast region.”

The board of directors is responsible for setting Abta’s direction, providing an extra level of governance and giving the Abta executive team support and advice.

Traditionally, principal positions on Abta’s board are held by tour operators. Brett sought election as owner of tour operation Rail Adventures, part of his travel agency business Westoe Travel, based in South Shields.

In his election statement Gardiner had said: “I understand the need for us to have a strong collective voice in this industry…I know that much more could be done to support tour operators and for our voices to be listened to.”

Brett had said he had stood for election to “give the point of view from smaller businesses” and represent “both sides of the fence” as an operator and agent.

The ballot followed the re-election of Britaly Travel director Daniele Broccoli uncontested to the board to represent members with a turnover of less than £20 million.

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