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2015 AGM Minutes

WYSE Travel Confederation (Danish Association)

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 22 September 2015, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Cape Town, South Africa

Click here to view the full PowerPoint AGM presentation

Participants:  Company/organsiation
David Chapman, Director General, DC WYSE Travel Confederation
Philip Houghton, Chairperson (PH) Safestay PLC
Manel Bassols, (MB) Agora BCN CETT
Patricia Brunner, (PB) Munichaupair
Dave Dahl, (DD) WISE Foundation
Carye Duffin, (CD) CIEE
Carla Ferreira, (CF) Saltycrax
Jason Merrithew, (JM) Merit Travel Group
Ashraf Wali, (AW) Egyptian Student Travel Services
Matt Weitz, Honorary Finance & Audit committee member, (MW)

 

 

  1. OPENING AND WELCOME

 

  • Director General David Chapman opened and welcomed members to the 2015 WYSE Travel Confederation Annual General Meeting in Cape Town and introduced the Executive Board members.

 

  1. CHECK FOR QUORUM

 

  • DC explained the Constitutional requirement for quorum and stated that quorum for the 2015 AGM would be 33% of xx full voting members i.e. 88 members.
  • Consequently, as the AGM was not quorate, an adjournment of 30 minutes was requested and a proposal to provide a report on the Confederation’s activities and initiatives to be adopted once the AGM is in session.
  • The Chairperson agreed to this proposal.

 

  

  1. DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT

 

DC provided the following report surrounding the Confederations activities and initiatives undertaken within the 2014/15 period:

 

Human resources and Sector Associations:

 

An overview was provided regarding the status of current human resources (Amsterdam-based and external), along with an outline of the range of sector associations within the auspices of the Confederation

 

The four strategic pillars:

 

WYSE Travel Confederation’s strategic direction continues to be underpinned by the following four core pillars:

 

  1. Education
  2. Representation/advocacy
  3. Networking
  4. Research

 

The following activities, projects and initiatives were delivered by the Confederation in the last 12 months.

 

World Youth and Student Travel Conference:

 

Buyer attendance is a vital to the success of WYSTC and importantly the ability to attract the right type of Buyers.  An overview of key achievements with regards to the last two events was provided:

 

WYSTC 2014, Dublin:

 

  • 262 partial buyer applications received
  • 50 fully hosted buyers
  • No hosted accommodation
  • Buyer familiarisations were provided

 

WYSTC 2015, Cape Town:

 

  • 446 buyer applications were received
  • 60 fully hosted buyers will be in attendance
  • Emirates provided flights
  • SAYTC members provided familiarisations
  • Hosted accommodation
  • Increased focus on showcasing the destination
  • Pre and post tours provided to delegates
  • Teamed up with taxi and car rental operators to provide delegate discounts
  • Developed youth travel report for South Africa

 

Marketing:

 

  • Both the Confederation and WYSTC websites are major tools for marketing.
  • In the last two years, website visitation has demonstrated an upward trend.
  • There has been an increased focus on relevant content including industry news and opportunities.
  • Membership profiles were introduced mid 2015, which has proven to be a very popular opportunity to showcase member businesses to the wider WYSE membership community
  • The WYSE Travel Confederation database has increased significantly from 8000 contacts to 45,000.
  • Communications are distributed on a regular basis, with minimal bounce-backs, indicating the majority of contact details are correct.

  

Partnerships and sponsorships:

 

  • ELSE became a diamond sponsor of WYSTC in 2014
  • A strategic airline partnership was secured with Emirates in January 2015 for a two-year term which has enabled the hosted buyer programme.
  • An MOU was signed with Erasmus, which has allowed collaboration on research and access to the consumer market place
  • A range of sponsors were secured for WYSTC 2015, many of which have been strong and regular supporters of the event and the Confederation as a whole
  • A MOU was signed between the UNWTO and the Confederation in June 2014
  • The Executive team met with the UNWTO in Madrid in March to discuss opportunities for future collaboration, with two major achievements including:

 

  • The Power of Youth Travel is in the process of being updated, with release in the fall
  • Both partners re-evaluated the percentage of youth arrivals, with new increased figures to be announced by Mr. Carlos Vogeler during WYSTC 2015

 

Education:

 

  • WYSE delivered 13 workshops at ITB, Berlin in March
  • The Director General delivered a Milliennial Youth Travel presentation during ITB
  • A series of webinars have been delivered throughout the last 12 months.
  • WYSE has placed a greater focus on delivering informative webinars, rather than product pitches, which as demonstrated an upward trend in webinar attendance.

 

Events/networking:

 

  • WYSE was highly visible within the youth hall of ITB 2015 and experienced an increase in number of co-exhibitors on the stand in comparison to 2014.
  • 15 workshops and 12 keynotes will be delivered at WYSTC in Cape Town this year
  • STAYWYSE will be delivering a hostel operator conference late January 2016 in Amsterdam, aimed to attract hostel operators and key Buyers focused on the youth accommodation sector.

 

Representation/advocacy:

 

  • A number of industry presentations will be delivered in the coming 12 months, including World Travel Mart, UK in November
  • The Confederation in the process of developing a proposal to attend NAFSA in 2016
  • After a 2-year break, WYSE Travel Confederation was successful in securing a seat on the UNWTO Affiliate Board
  • An Advocacy Toolkit (blueprint) – a guide on how to lobby government was published in July 2015 in collaboration with WWVA.
  • Following the provision of industry development support and collaboration with Failte Ireland in conjunction with WYSTC 2014, the Confederation formalized and framed its destination development offering.
  • The new “Destination Development Programme will be launched at WYSTC and has been designed to assist destinations develop strategies to increase inbound youth arrivals to their country.
  • Importantly the aim of the initiative is to provide a new revenue stream for the organisation. The prospectus will be available on the WYSE website.
  • The 2016 WYSE Exchange Australia event to be held in Sydney 6-8 April 2016, is the first targeted destination development initiative to kick off the programme.

 

Research

 Research has been a strong element over the last 12 months, with 14 reports issued, both consumer and trade focused.

  • “Beyond the Bed” Booking Sources” was a popular piece of research that provided valuable insights to our members regarding ancillary revenue sources.
  • The Confederation joined forces with a European consortium including STA Travel and Erasmus and have successfully secured a grant of ¼ million EUR to develop and implement the “EU Millennials Tour Project”.
  • This is a considerable achievement for the Confederation; in that once a EU grant is secured, as part of a consortium, it makes it easier to secure a grant as an independent organisation to apply for future funding opportunities.

 

 

  1. CALL TO ORDER

 

  • At 2.15pm PH noted that quorum was present and called the meeting to order and introduced the current Board members.
  • Pieter van der Zeeuw (Hans Brinker) and Ronaldo Da Silva (Britannia Student Travel Services)
  • The motion was approved
  • PH invited the members to accept the Director General’s report as part of the AGM. This was approved.

 

  1. INTRODUCTION OF THE BOARD MEMBERS

 

  • PH introduced the Executive Board members (MB, PB, DD, CD, CF, JM, AW), the Director General and MW, Honorary Finance & Audit Committee Member.

 

  1. REVIEW OF 2014 AGM MINUTES

 

  • DC re-iterated the Minutes from the 2014 AGM had been posted on the WYSE Travel Confederation website.
  • PH advised the 2014 WYSE Travel Confederation AGM was held in Dublin, Ireland and the Minutes have been posted on the Confederation website.
  • PH invited members to present a motion to approve the Minutes of the 2014 AGM.
  • Carl Michael from Generator proposed and Sandra Cohen seconded the Minutes to be a true and accurate record
  • The motion was passed

  

  1. THE FUTURE OF THE CONFEDERATION

 

PH conveyed the following introductory remarks:

 

  • WYSE Travel Confederation is seeking to restructure its operations and membership model, including a consolidation of the various Sector Associations into the main Confederation.
  • Although each of the Sector Associations is passionate and committed to represent and drive their respective sector forward, the current structure of the Confederation is prohibitive of growth.
  • It is acknowledged and respected that there is a long history and deep roots within both the Confederation and various Sector Associations and whilst many members are currently very active, engaged and contribute, change is necessary for the Confederation to flourish and advance.
  • Over the past 8 months, the Executive team and Board have undertaken significant consultation to find a way forward for the WYSE Travel Confederation and the Sector Associations.
  • Progress has been made and the Director General’s presentation delivered at this AGM forms part of the member engagement.
  • In conclusion, PH expressed that the Board is excited about the future and handed over to DC to provide an overview of the proposed consolidation:

 

  1. PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION

 

DC thanked the entire Executive Board for their input, for challenging the Executive team and for the overall support provided throughout the process of developing the final proposal.  The following overview regarding the proposed consolidation was provided:

 

  • Taking the Confederation into 2016 and beyond is a big task and from an operational point of view, the Confederation has become difficult, complex and very introverted.
  • To ensure sustainability well into the future, it is necessary to evolve the Confederation to a more homogenous, stronger and relevant organisation.
  • It is critical to remove unnecessary administration in order to reduce costs and have the ability to channel money into additional human resources.
  • As a result, the Confederation can be in a position to deliver increased member value via a simplified membership mechanism
  • DC further highlighted the core elements contained within the proposal and would be implemented if majority vote by members is received in November:

 

  1. Merge the Sector Associations into WYSE Travel Confederation
  2. Consolidate strategic objectives and establish a unified voice
  3. Establish industry advisory panels to service in sector specific needs
  4. Introduce a new membership model effective 1 January 2017

 

 

PROPOSED CONSOLIDATION – continued

 

  • The consultation process regarding the future of the Confederation has been comprehensive.
  • Discussions between the Executive Board and the Sector Associations commenced in March 2015.
  • A discussion paper was developed which was reviewed and discussed by the Board, Sector Association Chairs and their respective Boards and the WYSE Executive team.
  • Additional discussions have been held in Cape Town prior to the AGM between the Board and Sector Association Chairpersons.
  • Due to the anticipated low level of members in attendance at the 2015 AGM, the decision was taken not to put the proposal forward for a vote at the AGM, but to use this opportunity to present the key highlights of the proposal and allow for member Q&A.
  • WYSE Travel Confederation will hold an online voting opportunity in November 2015 (date TBC) to provide as many members as possible, the chance to cast their vote on the proposed change.
  • Members will be requested to vote on a completely new Constitution that will reflect the new proposed organisational structure and membership model.
  • Should the final results from the voting be in favour of the proposed consolidation, the Executive team will commence the process of establishing the Advisory Panels in early 2016, along with the new membership fees.
  • DC provided an overview of the current status of the Sector Associations in terms of their stance on the proposal:

 

  • STAY WYSE & WYSE Work & Volunteer Abroad associations are in support
  • IASIS prefer to retain their independent status
  • IAPA also prefers to remain as an independent association, but with continued discussions
  • ISTC, SATA, ISIC support the restructure, but there will be little or no effect on these associations
  • Study WYSE is already an Advisory Panel, as it has never been constituted. The aim is to revitalize this panel.

 

  1. THE PROPOSED NEW CONFEDERATION – GOVERNANCE & FINANCE

 

Governance:

 

DC provided an overview of the current structure of WYSE Travel Confederation by way of an info-graphic that demonstrated the current complexities of both operations and accounting procedures and outlined what the future structure would look like and made the following key points:

 

  • Governance will remain of significant importance within the new proposed structure
  • The Executive Board would have 7 positions, whereof 3 seats from the membership at large and 4 from the advisory panels
  • One seat would represent the Finance & Audit committee
  • The Executive Board would elect a Chairperson of the Executive Board and a Chairperson of the Finance & Audit Committee.

 

 

THE PROPOSED NEW CONFEDERATION – GOVERNANCE & FINANCE – continued

 

  • There would be one independent committee member to oversee due diligence of the Confederations’ finances
  • DC demonstrated the complexities of the current accounting system in comparison to what the new system would look like within a new organizational structure.
  • Based on thorough legal advice, the concept results in one trading entity – incorporate a single non-for profit entity with one account.

 

Advisory Panels:

 The following key aims and objectives of the advisory panels are to:

 

  • Build upon the legacy and achievements of the current sector associations
  • Strengthen members through the delivery of specialized sector development
  • Deliver business development programmes including trading, research and education
  • Provide sector specific strategic advice on issues, opportunities and policy

 

  • The anticipated four advisory panels would include:

 

  1. Youth travel accommodation
  2. Work or cultural exchange and volunteering
  3. Insurance and travel safety/child protection
  4. Language and study abroad.

 

 

The process of establishing advisory panels:

 

  • Initially, the anticipated sectors would be represented via the Advisory Panels detailed above.
  • However, Advisory Panels could be formed where a need is identified and verified as being an essential part of the youth, student and educational travel market place.
  • The formation of an Advisory Panel could be initiated based on member demand, market demand
  • Recommendation by the Executive Management
  • Advisory panel members would be voted by members by secret ballot prior to the WYSE Travel Confederation AGM, commencing in 2016.
  • Each Advisory Panel would have a Chairperson, who automatically will have a position on the Executive Board

 

THE PROPOSED NEW CONFEDERATION – GOVERNANCE & FINANCE – continued

 

Membership

 

  • Currently the Confederation along with the Sector Associations offers multiple variations of membership, with over 50 different membership options.
  • A very confusing process to prospective members and this has been evident in that in the last 12 months 290 applications were commenced, with most not completed in full, suggesting membership is either too expensive and/or too complicated.
  • DC provided an overview of the new proposed membership model via an info-graphic and commented that with the new proposed model, the level of membership selected will include full access to all WYSE benefits and services regardless of sector interest.
  • An attractive WYSTC discount would be offered.
  • A student membership would be introduced, primarily to provide access to research reports
  • Via a verification system, engaged members would be highlighted. The more engaged/active, the more ticks.

 

Next steps

 

DC provided the following comments regarding the way forward with regards to the proposed consolidation:

 

  • The Confederation is seeking feedback from members today and in the coming weeks post AGM.
  • Final documentation that will serve as information for members to cast their vote, will be distributed to members in 2-4 weeks’ time following the 2015 AGM
  • The aim is to activate the online voting platform November 2015. Members will be provided with a unique link and code to access the voting system.
  • At least 40 % of the membership needs to participate.
  • Assuming the Confederation receives approval from members, the merger will commence end of 2015, with the formation and establishment of advisory panels in January 2016 and the new membership model introduced in January 2017

 

 

THE PROPOSED NEW CONFEDERATION – GOVERNANCE & FINANCE – continued

 Member questions and feedback:

 DC invited questions from members.

 

  • Bettina Wiedmann (Experiment e. V) commended the work invested into developing the consolidation proposal and acknowledged that it would make it simpler. However, queried what will happen with the two associations that have not come on board and what would be the outcome if the consolidation does not go ahead?
  • DC responded it is a bridge that needs to be crossed and the Confederation is dedicated to finding a solution to keep the two associations within the Confederation. In response to the latter – DC replied the Confederation may have to cease operations in next 1-2 years if action is not taken. Additionally, the Confederation is not currently delivering what it should be delivering; the organisation needs to become more relevant to its members.
  • Francis Stivala (National Student Travel Foundation) congratulated and acknowledged the work carried out by the Executive Board and staff. He further stated that WYSE needs to adapt to change for the benefit and inclusion of all and the new structure will allow expansion and growth.  The Advisory Panels need the right people however.
  • DC ran through the process of how the panels would be established and reiterated that it is essential of course the right people are on the panels and members would have the opportunity to ensure this via their vote.
  • Francis Stivala (National Student Travel Foundation) wondered how the specialists would be funded as this type of resource would cost more money.
  • DC responded the cost savings from the consolidation would inject funds into the organisation that would help cover these costs.
  • Göran Rannefors (Cultural Care Au Pair) commented that what is missing within the proposal is a budget and asked when members will receive a proposed 3-5 year budget.
  • DC responded that there is a budget for 2016. However, at this point there are a number of variable factors such as legal implications.  It is anticipated that membership sales will increase based on a less complicated structure.  The Executive team is working on projections with the aim to have a five-year plan in place.
  • Ronaldo Da Silva (Britannia Student Travel Services) commented that he never understood why he had to pay for two memberships.
  • DC responded, the situation is based on legacy, when the Sector Associations were unsure if they wanted to remain within the Confederation. The current environment is counter- productive.  It takes a long time to make a decision, there are missed opportunities due to layers of reporting.  The consolidation will ensure more streamlined operations and processes.
  • Currently the barriers to entry are too high, there is a risk that membership will stagnate.
  • DC concluded that he welcomed feedback from members during this consultative phase.

 

  • PH thanked DC for his comprehensive overview and called for a motion to accept the proposal of the consolidation.
  • Pieter van der Zeeuw (Hans Brinker Hotel) proposed and Rinaldo Da Silva (Britannia Student Travel Services)
  • The motion was accepted.
  1. FINANCES

 DC provided an overview and report on the finances of the WYSE Travel Confederation for the 2014 fiscal year.

  • It was noted there was a loss due to an incorrect handling of IASIS income
  • WYSTC in Dublin produced a very healthy revenue stream to the Confederation.
  • Congrex was used as a PCO in Dublin due to a legacy contract. The agreement was poorly built and not geared towards the motivation to save us money.  So, a reasonable hit was taken which didn’t place WYSTC in a good position.
  • DC further emphasized that there is a going concern, but there is sufficient cash-flow. A rigorous accounting review is required going forward, especially a tight budget control of WYSTC.
  • MW added there is more detail with the existing budget, which has been an improvement in comparison to previous years.
  • Francis Stivala raised the question of what is going to happen with the money that is owed to the association if the consolidation goes ahead. DC commented there are currently agreements in place that will continued to be honored.
  • DC provided an overview of the balance sheet and asked if there were any questions. No questions were noted and members were advised the balance sheet would available on the website after WYSTC.
  • With regards to the forecast for 2015, DC commented that it would be a challenge, with the forecast sitting EUR58,0000.  A major reason was due to WYSTC being held in Cape Town, resulting in a decrease on delegate registrations.  Previously STAYWYSE contributed 50 delegates to WYSTC, this year 16 have registered, with a total of 350 delegates.  Unfortunately, the destination bid that was committed to in 2012 has links to the going concern.
  • WYSE will have a tight control on the 2016 budget, especially operating costs. We have received a generous bid for the 2016 destination
  • PH proposed a motion to accept the 2015 accounts. Carl Michael (Generator) proposed and by Sandra Cohen (92Y Residence) and seconded by Ronaldo Da Silva (Britannia Student Travel Services).  The motion was accepted and adopted.
  • With regards to appointment of auditors, WYSE proposes Van Hier to oversee the Dutch activities and PWC in Denmark. The motion was accepted by Pieter van der Zeeuw (Hans Brinker Hotel) and seconded by Ronaldo Da Silva (Britannia Student Travel Services)

 

 

  1. MEMBERSHIP

 

  • DC provided a status report on WYSE Travel Confederation membership and commented that 48 new members had joined the Confederation in the last 12 months, which places the Confederation slightly ahead on membership targets.
  • The two highest types membership categories secured were CAT 1 & CAT 2.
  • DC presented the two lists of membership applications that required ratification which had previously been reviewed, checked financially prior to submission to the Board for approval.
  • A motion was requested to approve the membership applications. Ronaldo Da Silva (Britannia Student Travel Services accepted and Pieter van der Zeeuw (Hans Brinker Hotel) seconded the motion.
  • Further by way of report, 12 resignations were received in comparison to 29 in 2014. Which demonstrated that membership attrition is slowing down.  Many of the resignations were do to change in business operations and membership is too expensive.
  • 16 disaffiliations occurred this year.
  • Membership fees will remain the same for 2016 and WYSE will retain the payment incentive as it is a useful tool to drive membership.

 

  1. BOARD ELECTIONS

 

  • DC advised an election is not required for the Executive Board as all existing members will remain.

 

  1. ANNOUNCEMENT OF LOCATION OF WYSTC 2016
  • DC announced that Belgrade Serbia had been successful in winning the bid to host WYSTC 2016
  • With a significant amount of destination support, the Confederation is very much looking forward to holding WYSTC in this unique destination
  1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
  • PH called for any other business to be raised. Additional items were not noted.
  • PH advised Ashraf Wali has made the decision to resign from the WYSE Travel Confederation Executive Board. Being appointed for the first time in 1984, the Executive Board wished to thank Ashraf for his significant contribution to the Confederation over the years and wish him all the success for the future.
  1. CLOSE OF AGM
  • PH advised the next AGM will be held on Tuesday 20th of September 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Wishing everyone a successful 2015 event, the AGM was closed at 3.35pm.