A meeting of Paragon delegates in Frankfurt has regretted the decision of the UK and Ireland Institute of Travel Management (ITM) to merge with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).
A statement by Paragon, the umbrella group representing international association of travel managers, added: “Paragon members welcome contact with travel managers from the UK and Ireland who are interested in re-establishing an independent buyer driven business travel association in their countries.”
A spokesman for Paragon said anyone interested could contact Mr Michael Kirnberger, president of the Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement, the German travel managers' association.
The Paragon meeting was attended by delegates representing business travel associations from the USA, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Finland, Iberia and Sweden.
The proposed merger between ITM and ACTE was announced at the London Business Travel Show in February but has not yet been confirmed by ITM's 1200 members, who include both travel managers and supplier representatives.
Continental business travel associations are not happy with ITM's decision while the Belgian Association of Travel Managers, which is not a member of the Paragon group, has made it clear it will not be following the UK and Ireland lead.
Paragon to set up European Council
Business travel associations from eight European countries are to set up a European Regional Council to focus on issues that can not be handled at national level, like EU legislation.
The decision was made at a meeting in Frankfurt of Paragon members, the umbrella group representing business travel associations across the world.
A task force has been appointed to present details of the Council to the Paragon members in June.
A spokesman said the move was backed by US and Canadian delegates at the meeting. The council, he said would aim to strengthen the relevance of buyer-driven business travel organisations.
At the Frankfurt meeting, the Netherlands Association for Travel Management (NATM) was admitted as a new member.
* The next Paragon meeting is due to be held on August 14 in San Diego during the NBTA's Annual Convention.