orking with our members and associate members, our principals, we’re here to ensure that the voice of the Scottish travel professional is heard.
Working with our members and associate members, our principals, we’re here to ensure that the voice of the Scottish travel professional is heard.
We address the issues of a constantly changing travel market place and we’ve never been needed more than now as our industry faces the most severe challenges as a result of the global pandemic and the significantly changed global travel landscape.
Managed by an elected council, with day to day operations led by a team of three – secretariat, treasurer and publisher, the SPAA also has a series of decision making committees including Air and GDS, Political Activities and Leisure which can be found here
2020 saw us celebrate our centenary. The Scottish Passenger Agent’s Association’s beginnings in 1920 were in ocean travel – at a time of fierce competition for sea passages across the world. As agents for these passages sprang up, the SPAA was founded as a professional body for agents who dealt with shipping an immigration. Air travel was a thing of the future at the time we were set up, but the seeds of this were sown on 1924 with the establishing of Imperial Airways for commercial flying.
In 1934, the SPAA broke away from the national group, as a Scottish body which was more in touch with local people, conditions and needs. We were, and we remain, a highly influential organisation which protects our members’ common interests and offers a forum for agents to discuss their challenges, problems and issues.
It wasn’t until the 1940s that commercial flights from Scotland to London began – but they remained the preserve of the wealthy as these were too expensive for anything but the richest to consider. The appetite for flying increased over the next few decades and in the 1960s the emphasis for our agents businesses moved from shipping to airlines.....
From our inception in 1920 to today, the SPAA remains a highly regarded organisation. We celebrate a century of consulting with rail, airline and shipping companies on major issues which affect travel, customers and of course our members.
We’ve negotiated and lobbied on everything from new routes to reductions of agents’ commissions and pay on board schemes. It was the SPAA who first, in 2002, introduced the idea of a £1 levy on all passengers in case of airline failures. We continue to discuss and lobby for this to be introduced.
The landscape for global travel constantly evolves. And, as we entered our centenary celebrations we continued our work on behalf of the Scottish travel trade as we actively lobby both the UK and Scottish governments for a road map out of the 2020/21’s pandemic travel restrictions.
Our ethos has been – and remains – to keep on talking … even if we don’t always agree. Read more
Our mission is to ensure the Scottish travel marketplace is fair for consumers and travel agents. Representing all of Scotland's major travel agents and working with our Associate members we tackle the biggest regulatory, legislative and commercial challenges facing our industry.
" We are the voice of Scotland's travel profession. "
Mike became SPAA President in 2022. He has served on Council since 2017. Mike is general manager, Europe at Global Marine Travel (GMT). He began his career with Denholm’s in the 1990s and has specialised in the marine/offshore market for more than 25 years. Mike also has voluntary experience as a past director of the Scottish Shipping Benevolent Association.
SPAA Vice President
Jacqueline is the President of Barrhead Travel, one of the UK’s largest travel agencies. With over two decades of experience within the travel industry, Jacqueline has been pivotal in shaping Barrhead Travel into a UK-wide success story.
With a personal passion for travel, adventure and cruise, Jacqueline is a champion for the High Street Travel Agency model and firmly believes there is no better way to book a holiday than with the first-hand expertise of a travel agent.
Jacqueline started her career in travel at age 16, progressing though various areas of the business, gaining expertise in sales, marketing, business development, product curation and commercial development. In 2003, she led the opening and operation of Barrhead Travel’s Glasgow superstore, which is the largest travel agency store in Europe.
In 2021 Jacqueline was nominated for both 'Businesswoman of the Year' and 'Inspirational Woman of the Year', alongside Scotland's most esteemed business leaders and entrepreneurs at the Businesswomen Awards in Scotland.
Jacqueline has served on Council since 2019.
SPAA Immediate Past President
Joanne is a long-term SPAA member. Joanne operates three Love To Travel independent travel agencies in Coatbridge, Motherwell, and Bellshill, specialising in leisure travel. Joanne started in the travel industry in 1987, working mainly for multiples such as Thomas Cook, The Co-op Travel and Going Places as a regional manager before founding Love To Travel in 2014. Joanne opened her second store in her hometown of Motherwell in the same shop where she first started her career 27 years before for Lunn Poly.
Joanne is also a non-executive board director for the Advantage Travel Partnership. She has been a Council member of the SPAA since 2006 and has also undertaken the role of SPAA Social Convener, responsible for the Scottish Travel Awards, the Summer Ball and networking lunches.
Joanne is also a non executive board director for the Advantage Travel Partnership. She has been a council member of the SPAA for over 18 years and has also undertaken the role of SPAA social convener responsible for the Scottish Travel Awards, the Summer Ball and networking lunches.
Janice Hogarth, a past president – and the second female president - of the SPAA, manages the day to day operations of the organisation which she has been a part of for more than 25 years having previously worked as a business development manager for Alba Travel in Inverness.
Drew is an Honorary Member of SPAA. He retired from the industry in 2017 following 50 years service in Retail Leisure, Business Travel, Group & Conference organising, Tour Operating and travel related Sales Representation. Drew is delighted to return in 2022 to take care of the Association's finances.
Membership of the SPAA allows full access to the SPAA Council, provides members with up to date information regarding suppliers and the opportunity to network with suppliers at SPAA events. The SPAA works with ABTA, GTMC, IATA, ATOC, CAA and Advantage under the “one voice umbrella” and represents members on key issues at political levels in both Scottish Parliament and Westminster. Membership includes access to our joint discussions on key issues in the parliaments of Scotland and the UK.
Membership continues to grow year on year and reflects the importance that leisure and business travel agents attach to being members and to working closely with the SPAA. Read more
If you are interested in joining the SPAA – make your enquiry using this form and we will get in touch with you to discuss your application