Midcounties Co-op executive elected chair of the Association of British Travel Agents

Founded over 60 years ago, ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association, representing travel agents and tour operators.

The Midcounties Co-operative’s Alistair Rowland has been elected chair of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). Mr Rowland, who is currently chief retail officer for specialist business, has been with the society for more than seven years.

Prior to this role, he was group general manager for specialist retail and group general manager for travel services. He has over 30 years retail experience including five with the Co-operative Travel Group.

At the ABTA he is succeeding Noel Josephides, chair of Sunvil Holidays, who stood down after six years, completing his term in office.

Mr Rowland has served on the ABTA board of directors for the last seven years representing retail members with a turnover of over £20m.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive said: “On behalf of the board, I am delighted to welcome Alistair Rowland to his new position as chairman of ABTA. Alistair has served with distinction on our board of directors and his expertise, professionalism and enthusiasm will be invaluable in our on-going work to support our members and their customers as well as helping to deliver ABTA’s business plan.

“I would also like to extend our warmest thanks to outgoing chairman Noel Josephides for the exceptional contribution he has made to the association throughout his six years in office.”

Mr Rowland added: “I look forward immensely to taking on my new role as chairman of the UK’s leading travel association. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we have an association that represents the voice of the industry, supports the needs of its members and helps their customers to feel confident in travelling. The association has made strong progress under chief executive Mark Tanzer and the chairmanship of my predecessor Noel Josephides and I’m keen to further build on that good work.”