23 Nov

ABTA Board makes new appointments

Two new appointments are announced today by the ABTA board which will strengthen the representation and public affairs role of the travel association.

Lord Fowler, a former Cabinet Minister who has also chaired two regional newspaper groups, will join the board as an independent non executive director and Christine Farnish, Group Public Policy Director at Barclays will become an advisor to the Board.

Lord Fowler served for 11 years in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet. In his last post as Employment Secretary he was responsible for government policy on the tourism industry. In his business career he was chairman of Regional Independent Media (The Yorkshire Post Group) and Midland Independent News (publisher of the Birmingham Evening Mail and other Midland newspapers). He has been chairman of a number of other companies including the National House Building Council which maintains standards in the building industry. He started life as a journalist and went to the House of Lords in 2001.

Commenting on his appointment, Lord Fowler said:
“I am delighted. ABTA is a crucial organisation providing a guarantee of quality to the public. I believe strongly in the importance of the tourism industry. It makes a vital contribution both in employment and to the general economy. Its importance and achievements need to be far more recognised.”

Christine Farnish brings substantial Board, consumer policy, consumer protection and public affairs experience to the ABTA Board, as a Director of Consumer Focus and previous directorships at the Office of Fair Trading and the Advertising Standards Authority. She has also worked with the Countryside Commission, OFTEL, the FSA and the National Association of Pension Funds.

Christine said, “ABTA is well known and highly regarded by consumers and politicians alike.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to make a contribution to its role in these areas.”

John McEwan, Chairman of ABTA said: “We are extremely pleased that such illustrious and experienced figures have agreed to work with ABTA.  There is much to do but ABTA is now in an even stronger position to have a major influence in building the public profile of the travel industry, and in pushing our policy agenda in the UK and in Europe.