ROY MERRICKS HAS BEEN ELECTED TO JOIN THE AFTA BOARD ON FRIDAY FOLLOWING THE SHOCK DEPARTURE OF HELLOWORLD’S JULIE PRIMMER.
The announcement was made during the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA)’s AGM, which saw Express Travel Group CEO Tom Manwaring re-elected as chair, and Travellers Choice CEO Christian Hunter and Flight Centre MD Graham (Skroo) Turner as vice-chairs.
Manwaring and Turner joined Flight Centre’s head of mergers and acquisitions David Smith, Consolidated Travel CEO Spiros Alysandratos, and CT Partner’s director David Greenland in being re-elected for a two-year term.
These six directors will join the existing directors whose term expires next year; Hunter, Webjet CCO Shelley Beasley, Corporate Travel Management COO Laura Ruffles, American Express Business Travel VP and GM Jo Sully and Helloworld’s GM for independent and associate members David Padman.
Merricks said it was an “honour and a privilege” to join the AFTA board as such a crucial time.
“I believe in our industry and travel agents, and the importance of continuing to foster a widespread
strong understanding of the value and need for travel agents in a post-Covid-19 world,” he said.
“Equally, the importance of the perception and relevance of AFTA and ATAS as our peak body representative, and accreditation entity with consumers and members.
Merricks co-founded MTA – Mobile Travel Agents with his wife Karen in 2000 and celebrated the business’ 20-year anniversary in March 2020, just before the global pandemic ground the travel industry to a halt. The company has been a member of AFTA’s ATAS accreditation scheme since 2014.
“It is a very busy time in the ongoing development of both AFTA and ATAS as we emerge from the turmoil of the past couple of years,” Merricks continued.
“I look forward to actively contributing to the conversation, bringing more than twenty-four years experience in retail travel, and the mobile or home-based segment especially.”
Merricks was one of eight nominees running for the six spots open.
Tass Messinis, former managing director of BCD Travel and chairperson of the Association of Travel Management Companies, was also in the running, as was Primmer until her resignation on Thursday afternoon.