Interim Abta chairman Hugh Morgan (pictured) has hailed the association’s newly elected chairman Noel Josephides as the right man for the job.
The Monarch Travel Group managing director stepped into the role after the retirement of John McEwan in May from Advantage which meant he had to relinquish the Abta chairman role early.
Morgan was one of two fellow board members who backed Sunvil chairman Josephides for the Abta chairmanship in the vote of members against All Leisure Group chairman Roger Allard.
Morgan said that the election was “good demonstration of democracy in action” and that the Abta membership had “spoken with their feet”.
Josephides claimed 52% of the votes on a 41% turnout of members, Abta announced yesterday.
Morgan dismissed claims by some that Josephides would be a divisive influence and sought to play down the ultimate influence of the chairman on the direction of Abta.
“I have a very clear view that there is a very strong board at Abta which is comprised of all sorts of different types of people and that the chairman’s role is to chair the meetings
“Things get brought up and they get debated and then they are voted on and there is no one person dictating anything in particular.
“It will be the same as when John was chairman or if Roger had become chairman, that’s what you would have. The board of Abta is run as a democracy.
“The role of chairman is a very important one and it needs someone with a lot of experience and it needs to be a steadying hand.
“People’s perception of the influence of the role probably runs ahead of the reality, but I think it’s important that it is someone who knows the industry well.
“I have known Noel for many years and he is highly respected by a lot of travel agents – that’s why they voted for him.
“Abta has changed dramatically over the last seven to eight years and it has a very strong chief executive in Mark Tanzer who is doing a very good job of running the association.”
Morgan added: “I think this was a good demonstration of democracy in action, quite frankly. The democratic process has taken place. The Abta members have voted with their feet.
“I voted for John McEwan because I thought he was the right man for the job and I supported Noel because I think he is the right man for the job, and I’m delighted he got the job."
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