Eleven candidates are vying for five places on the Institute of Travel and Tourism’s board at the next election, including a challenger for current chairman Steven Freudmann.
Voting starts today and ballot papers must be in by June 19, with the results announced on June 22. The time for voting has been extended from the usual three weeks to seven weeks “to give people the maximum opportunity to vote”, according to Freudmann.
Freudmann’s position in the travel agency category on the board is being challenged by Michael Stevens, director of the Affordable Travel Group, which is understood to be about to launch an online travel agency. If Freudmann lost his directorship, a new chairman would have to be chosen by the board.
The other nine candidates are standing for four general director positions on the board. They are: Tony Coleiro, chief executive of Xlendi Resort, Malta; Richard English, founder of Retraining and a former board director; Gordon Gourlay, managing director of First Rate Exchange Services; Wendy Hartley, sales development director of Reed Travel Exhibitions; Barbara Kolosinska, business development director of C&M Recruitment; Martin Roberts, presenter of BBC1’s Homes Under the Hammer; Claire Steiner, HR consultant; Simon Thorp, business development director of media agency MNC and Doug Wardle, chairman of Wardle Transport Ltd.
Of the candidates standing for the general directorships, Hartley, Roberts, and Steiner are existing directors seeking re-election, while English and Wardle are former board directors.
Freudmann said he was standing on his record and hopes to be recognised for his achievements. His position on the board was recently questioned following the failure and ‘pre-pack’ sale of Unpackaged, which included Seligo, to The Travel Club, leaving creditors owed tens of thousands of pounds.The Travel Club is owned by Alpha Prospects, of which Freudmann is non-executive chairman. The issue recently forced Freudmann to resign from the ABTA board.
He added: “We are all subject to the democratic process and accountability. I hope that the membership will recognise the progress we have made in the last few years. I would like the opportunity to continue to develop the ITT. ITT was in some difficulty wehn I took over the chair, both financially and with rapidly declining membership. It is now the largest and most influential organisation for the travel industry.”