TTA Worldchoice’s ABTA alternative: Would you switch?

TTA Worldchoice’s ABTA alternative: Would you switch?


On this page:The case for ABTA | The case for TTA Worldchoice | Poll






The case for ABTA


Scale


ABTA represents more than 1,400 members with 5,900 outlets – including Worldchoice members – which sell 90% of overseas package holidays


Brand


ABTA has more than 50 years of branding behind it. A 2008 poll found 75% of consumers recognise the ABTA name


Its profile is swelled by advertising campaigns and hundreds of media interviews each year. The association’s consumer department handled 20,000 enquiries in 2008. Half the calls were to check whether a company was an ABTA member


Size


ABTA members include the major travel companies, swelling revenue and adding their own resources and expertise. The top 10 members provide 20% of ABTA’s income – subsidising services to independent agents


Strength in numbers


A majority of agents are likely to remain ABTA members for the foreseeable future


Cost


ABTA may appear costly, but an alternative that is £250 a year cheaper puts the price of the ABTA logo at little more than £20 a month


Services


Independent agents make the most use of ABTA’s services. ABTA’s legal service reports saving one member £2 million


Code


ABTA’s code of conduct and arbitration service ensure good practice and cut potential legal costs


Regulatory role


By acting as a regulator in certain areas ABTA saves members additional costs and prevents tighter regulation


Support and guidance


ABTA offers operational support in a crisis, guidance on health and safety and sustainable tourism, helplines on VAT and employment


Lobbying


ABTA employs a full-time lobbyist and lobbies in Brussels through pan-European association ECTAA





The case for TTA Worldchoice


Scale


TTA Worldchoice represents 800 agents – 360 in Worldchoice, the remainder in the Travel Trust Association. However, these operate different business models


Membership


Worldchoice members are solely independent agents.


ABTA includes traditional agents and online newcomers, tour operators and other suppliers, major groups and retail chains. Worldchoice will not have to deal with conflicting interests


Representation


Agents make up the majority of ABTA members, but the ABTA board includes just one elected representative of agents with an annual turnover less than £20 million.


TUI Travel and Thomas Cook both hold unelected places on the board


Listening to members


ABTA’s decision to cut the size of its board and agents’ representation in 2007 went through with the support of barely one in 10 members in a poll. 


Worldchoice says its size allows it to listen to members and respond


Protection


Worldchoice says it will offer 100% customer protection to agents who want it, including protection against fraud.


ABTA withdrew fraud protection in 2006. TTA members already enjoy this through the TTA’s trust arrangements


Cost


ABTA subscription rates rose by up to 39% for the smallest members last year and by an average 34% for consortia members, albeit following a six-year freeze.


Worldchoice says it can undercut ABTA’s subscription rates by at least £250 a year


Growth


The TTA has expanded from nothing in 1993 and forecasts a 10% rise in membership this year


ABTA’s membership is in long-term decline


Public relations and lobbying


TTA Worldchoice employs former ABTA head of PR Keith Betton as a freelance consultant




Latest news on TTA Worldchoice’s ABTA alternative


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