VistiBrtiain CEO Tom Wright has written to ABTA offering to host the 2008 Convention in England.
In a letter to ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer, Wright said the association should consider holding the event at home in light of industry and media comment on the recent convention in Marbella.
--We believe that the case for a domestic event is stronger than ever, he said.
--I know that you are focusing efforts on making ABTA an even more effective trade and representational organisation. A domestic conference will be affordable and accessible for your members, cutting their time away from their businesses, and enable you to showcase the organisation to opinion-formers and politicians in this country.
--In 2008 London will have been handed the Olympic baton by Bejing and the Liverpool 08 celebrations will be in full swing, creating a real buzz about holidaying at home.
--There is money to be made by your members in the domestic market - in 2005 UK residents took 59.3 million holidays of one night or more spending pound;11.5 billion and made 870 million tourism day visits spending pound;37.4 billion in England. Over the recent holiday period around 17 million Britons were planning overnight trips - and 85% of these were domestic breaks.
According to ABTA, the last time it held its convention in the UK was in Torquay in 1969, although in 1974 it switched the event to London at the last minute following the collapse of a major tour operator.
It also held several smaller 'conferences' in the UK throughout the 1980s and also in the mid 1990s following financial crisis, when it reviewed the need for a convention.
An ABTA spokeman said: "Hosting the ABTA convention always attracts a lot of interest from various destinations. We have not made any firm decision at this stage and are open to suggestions. The ultimate decision lies with the ABTA Board of Directors who will not make a final decision until later this year."
By Bev Fearis
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
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