Agent campaign group Target has called on Abta to reduce its membership subscription fees for a second year in succession with travel businesses still weathering the effects of the Covid crisis.
Abta halved its fees last year, and Target – Travel Agents Ref Group Engaged Together – has urged the association to do the same this year after 20% of Target’s near-1,000 members said they would struggle to afford the fees at their proposed levels.
Just 2% of respondents said they were content with the proposed fees, while 73% said Abta should pursue more cost-cutting measures to reduce overheads and allow it to discount membership fees.
Target has written to Abta chair Alistair Rowland and chief executive Mark Tanzer calling for "urgent action" to reduce the association’s subs.
Pole Travel’s Jill Waite, Target co-founder, said: "Members [of Target] have clearly stated that with no income coming in, they cannot afford the subscription fees Abta is proposing.
"Many agents have taken on part-time jobs in addition to running their businesses to supplement their income. However, one agent told us it would take 11 weeks’ earnings from their part-time job to cover the Abta membership subscriptions."
Fellow Target co-founder Graeme Brett, director of Westoe Travel, added: "Agents had budgeted for the membership fees, but now have little income coming in. In most cases, they also have loan repayments to make.
"Last year, Abta reduced their membership fees. That helped members and we are asking for them to repeat the gesture. There will clearly but a large number of members unable to renew their Abta membership unless there is a reduction in the subscription fees."
TTG has approached Abta for comment.