The 50 or so members who attended yesterday’s agm of the Irish Travel Agents Association spent only about 30 minutes discussing the idea that it become a commercial negotiator (or act partially as a consortium) and the general view seemed to be that it was a non-starter.
Ex-President Con Horgan was one who expressed the view that the ITAA should not compete with the existing consortia. He told Irish Travel Trade News: “I gave my own vision of the future for the ITAA, whose main priority should be to expand its membership – and this would be best done in dialogue with the consortia, working with them rather than against them.
“The irony is that every travel agency benefits from the good work that the ITAA does – such as on regulatory matters, IATA issues, and public relations with respect to ash clouds, strikes, etc – whether they are a member or not.”
Clare Dunne of The Travel Broker, who at the end of the discussion put up a slide summarising the points made, was nominated as the new President of the ITAA, and Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel took over as Treasurer.
They, along with other members of the new Board, must now tackle the problems of declining membership and income.
Meanwhile, Dervla O’Neill, who recently resigned as ITAA Project Manager, is now Membership & Events Manager at DMI / Digital Marketing Institute.