Worldchoice members face survey over ABTA alternative

Worldchoice members face survey over ABTA alternative

Worldchoice members are being asked if they want an alternative to ABTA in a survey of priorities as part of the merged TTA group.

TTA Worldchoice was formed in October following the merger of the two consortia. Travel Trust Association agents are not ABTA members and operate under the group's own trust fund.

Worldchoice members are being surveyed on their priorities for the consortium's future. Other options are: providing a dynamic packaging solution setting up specialisation groups technology investment, cost reduction schemes for high-street shops and investment in the Worldchoice brand. Results are due next month.

Managing director Simon Hargreaves said: "Worldchoice members have asked us what alternatives there are to ABTA, not in reference to the TTA, but in terms of what ABTA does for them and could we deliver it.

"The feedback was agents felt they could be better represented elsewhere. Government lobbying is part of it."

He added: "If a lot of people vote for this, we will have to take it seriously."

Hargreaves added TTA had looked into extending its trust cover for Worldchoice agents but that it was unlikely. "The costs would be high and finding someone to underwrite that cost in the current market would be very difficult."

Worldchoice members are also being asked about the importance of reducing fixed costs such as high-street rents. "It could mean reducing high street premises and having other models, or having our head office run the agency's back office. If there's ever a time agents are going to need this it's now," said Hargreaves.

Investment in the Worldchoice brand will also depend on the survey results, said Hargreaves, who admitted the brand was part of the attraction of the merger.

He added: "If a lot of people want us to concentrate on the brand we will spend time and money on it."

Meanwhile, TTA is still negotiating whether to join Triton following months of discussions.

Hargreaves admitted: "It's taking a bit longer to resolve."




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