Abta: Helping you learn
Abta is a trade association for UK travel agents, tour operators and the wider travel industry. We’re the largest group for the industry, with more than 4,600 travel brands as members whose combined annual turnover prior to the pandemic was £40 billion. We work closely with our members to help raise and maintain standards, build a more sustainable travel industry and provide travellers with advice, guidance and support.
Our members sign up to a code of conduct and commit to delivering the best standards of service and trading. When you need clear travel information and accurate, impartial advice relating to your trip, we’re here for you, and our high standards and requirements offer peace of mind when you book with one of our members. Together, we help you travel with confidence.
Find out more at abta.com
Abta Education Partners
Since 2014, Abta has collaborated with universities and colleges to link them with our members and industry partners to help students gain a better understanding of the issues affecting the travel industry and the opportunities a career in travel can provide.
We currently have 15 Education Partners and you can find them on the Abta Education Hub at tinyurl.com/abtaeducationpartners.
Our Education Partners get access to a range of benefits, such as Abta’s online training on the Abta Knowledge Zone as well as an annual lecture given by an Abta expert. They can also attend regional meetings to build networks and personal connections with Abta members and other partners.
Our Abta Student Reps programme matches one or two students from each of our Education Partners with an Abta member or partner for virtual mentoring sessions. These sessions have been invaluable for both students and mentors, and many of our past Abta Student Reps have gone on to work in the travel industry. Ellie Ray (pictured), one of our first Abta Student Reps from the University of Hertfordshire, now works as an assistant manager in our membership team.
“Being an Abta Student Rep while I was studying for my travel and tourism degree taught me all about Abta. I was mentored by Abta board director and managing director of Typically Holidays Daniele Broccoli and when the role came up at Abta I applied. I’ve been in the membership team for two years now and love the variety of the role, and how I’ve been mentored by my team.”
In 2024, we will also be reinstating Abta’s one-month internship. This is only open to students at Abta Education Partner universities and is a paid internship where a student will work with one of our Abta teams on a live project, as well as conducting some research.
Students at our partner universities will be asked to apply via their university and the shortlisted students will be invited to Abta for the day where they will learn about the company before having an interview in the afternoon. We are thrilled to be bringing this back for the first time since the pandemic.
Apprenticeships have always been an important route to attract talent into the travel industry. While the aviation and travel consultant apprenticeships will always be key to our industry, our members offer an extremely wide range of apprenticeships covering roles from engineering to law, HR and IT. And they aren’t just for school leavers. Apprenticeships are also for existing staff and there are many degree apprenticeships on offer.
Abta has always supported apprenticeships in the travel industry and is represented on the Aviation Industry Skills Board (AISB), which oversees aviation and travel apprenticeships and skills. We work closely with our members and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE).
Abta has two apprenticeship training provider partners who can advise and assist our members in their apprenticeship queries. Apprentices must reach an industry‑recognised level of professionalism to qualify, which includes an assessment and a professional discussion.
Travel Skills Group
More recently, Abta has joined with a number of academics and other tourism organisations and associations to address the issue of Level 3 travel and tourism courses being defunded along with all Level 3 qualifications as part of government education reforms for post-16 education. The industry has come together to lobby the appropriate government departments and organisations to ensure that new travel qualifications are developed and approved. Level 2 and 3 travel and tourism students are an important source of talent, both for the travel industry and higher education in travel and tourism.