Comment: Abta's new chairman need not be divisive

Comment: Abta's new chairman need not be divisive

Abta’s core agent members appear to have got their way with the election of Noel Josephides as Abta chairman.

The Sunvil chairman is widely seen as a champion of the little guy.

It’s fair to say it was a surprise when Josephides declared his intention to stand against All Leisure’s Roger Allard.

Both men made our list of prospective candidates to succeed John McEwan back in November, but Josephides was considered an outside bet.

Allard might also have been viewed as a surprise candidate ahead of his appointment to the Abta board in February, despite being one of the industry’s shrewdest operators.

But the members have spoken and, in Josephides, Abta has no less a sharp and knowledgeable chairman.

Travel Weekly wishes him well. I suspect his election will prompt rather less upheaval than some of his opponents predicted.

US shows astute funding

For years the US was a byword for lack of government support for inbound tourism.

Now Brand USA is rewriting the script on public-private partnerships in travel, as we report in this US-themed Special Edition.

In only its second year, Brand USA plans to raise $100 million in private-sector cash for marketing and thereby release matching funds from the government.

How different from the paltry state of affairs in the UK where the government’s latest spending cuts have taken a slice out of the budgets of VisitBritain and VisitEngland.

Abta will present research next week suggesting outbound leisure travel contributes 1.1% to UK GDP.

Isn’t it time we followed the US on this?

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