GMT’s Mike Tibbert announced as president for SPAA in 2022

GMT’s Mike Tibbert has been appointed as the 2022 president for the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA).

Mike, who in his role as General Manager for Europe manages a team handling travel requirements for a range of passengers, was inaugurated into his role as president at a ceremony on Thursday 6th January, which took place at the Crown Plaza hotel in Glasgow. The ceremony was attended by SPAA’s leadership team including Joanne Dooey, the outgoing president who handed over the reins to existing vice president Mike.

SPAA’s mission is to ensure the Scottish travel marketplace is fair for consumers and travel agents. The organisation is committed to representing all of Scotland’s major travel agents in tackling regulatory, legislative and commercial challenges facing the travel industry.

In a speech to mark the commencement of his presidency, Mike said:

“I would like to pay tribute to our past president and our council for all of their hard work to date. The last two years or so have no doubt been the most traumatic for the travel industry. The spectre of the pandemic and the restrictions placed on international travel globally have been devastating for the whole industry. There will be further pressures put upon our trade in 2022, in respect of further interest rate increases and the cost of living impact on household budgets which we know directly impacts disposable income. And, of course, the skills shortage compounded by the perception that the travel industry is not currently an attractive place to live and work.

Mike was also keen to focus on the travel industry’s positives: “We do not go forward wearing blinkers, nor be unaware of hurdles and curve balls that will no doubt be sent our way. But we do need to present a positive message to the travelling public. We are the dream providers, and we must continue to sell that dream of golden sands, infinity pools and champagne in the departure lounge. I love the positivity and the shared experience and we shall get through this. But first we must survive, and thereafter we shall thrive, I have no doubt.”

Mike’s term of presidency is two years, during which he’ll focus on raising the profile of the travel industry in Scotland whilst continuing to manage the GMT Europe team.

We’ll keep you updated on Mike’s role with SPAA throughout the year.