Representing the best in international travel catering
ITCA, the International Travel Catering Association, grew out of IFCA which was formed in the United Kingdom in 1980. IFCA was established as a forum and representative body for all companies involved in the inflight service industry. In 2005 with the formation of ITCA this was opened up to include both the rail and shipping industries as well as inflight. Membership is divided into three categories – caterers, suppliers of products and equipment, and airline/sea/rail operators .
Initially IFCA had only 40 member companies under Founder-President Willie Seeman but it has always been a global association. It has grown over the years to over 700 member companies world-wide. The first conference and trade show was held in 1982 and the event has been held every year ever since, usually in a different European location each year, attended by over 2,000 industry executives from all continents of the world.
The association also organises regional conferences, arranges education and training seminars, publishes a magazine, and has a number of active committees dealing with issues from marketing to environmental concerns and regulatory issues. Additionally it organises the premier international industry award competition for innovation and development - the Mercury Award.
The association is governed by a 15-person board of directors elected by the membership. It consists of five representatives each from operator, caterer and supplier members. The board has a president, two vice-presidents and a treasurer. Board members also undertake additional duties, such as chairing committees, e.g. the Mercury Award Committee, the Communications Committee and the Research & Development Committee.
Today ITCA is truly global, with member companies on every continent. Virtually all large airlines are members, as are many regional carriers, and the vast majority of inflight catering companies of all sizes. Sea, rail and supplier companies continue to join as more and more of them see business opportunities in this market segment.