Abta 2009 conferences in UK and Spain

The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) has announced that it will hold several UK conferences next year in addition to its main event in Spain, reports Travel Weekly.

For the fourth year the conference will be held at an events venue in Spain, although it will be the first time that it will have been held in Barcelona. The dates have been set for the weekend of 6th to 8th October next year. Mark Tanzer, chief executive of the organisation, said that having a conference abroad was important, despite the current financial climate.

Many companies across all sectors of British business have been scaling down their corporate travel in response to the global economic difficulties, and Mr Tanzer accepted that some firms may feel they are unable to justify the expense of a trip to Barcelona next year.

In response, a number of smaller conferences will also be held at various event venues in the UK, to cater for smaller travel companies.

In other news, Times Online reports that over 50 per cent of independent travel operator Gold Medal has been sold to Thomas Cook in a deal worth £25 million.

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