The next Abta chairman will face difficulty in cutting the costs of financial protection and the best the industry can hope for is to hold down any increases.
That is the view of Sunvil managing director and candidate for Abta chairman Noel Josephides, who has responded to demands the next chairman cut the costs of protection by saying: "I do not want to promise something I may not be able to deliver."
All Leisure Group chairman Roger Allard, who is standing against Josephides for chairman, has declared he will be on a mission "to cut costs and red tape" if he wins the election. In particular, Allard sees a chance to lower credit-card protection costs
Speaking in Abu Dhabi, ahead of the ITT conference, Allard told Travel Weekly: "If the CAA covered all aspects of bonding, some companies would not have to pay additional bonding for credit-card cover. Fees could go down quite a bit."
Josephides has made no pledge to cut costs. Writing in the latest Travel Weekly, he explains why.
"For years I have campaigned to have credit cards taken out of the picture when it comes to [company] collapses. But there is no guarantee this would lower rates payable by the industry or prevent merchant acquirers asking for bonds.
"Ask those who pay through the nose for non-licensable insurance cover. The best we can do is minimise the increase in cost of financial protection."
Separately, Josephides has also hit back at claims he would prove a divisive choice for chairman. "There have been comments by certain Abta members regarding the catastrophic effect on the sector were I to be elected chairman.
He said: "Members must understand the chairman is not a president with the power of, say, Vladimir Putin to decide and enforce policy.
"The chairman is there to co-ordinate the thinking of the board and secretariat and anything that emerges is a consensus. The result is a board decision, not based on the whim of the chairman. If the board feels the chairman to be behaving improperly, it has the power to replace him."
The ballot for next Abta chairman begins this week when ballot papers go out from Electoral Reform Services tomorrow. Voting ends on June 28.
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