Thursday, 16 September 2010

Our very own Oliver crowned Chairman of AITO Specialist Travel Agents

As announced on Twitter this afternoon...

Youthful new leader joined by Ted Wake of Kirker Holidays to oversee renaissance of travel agents

AITO Specialist Travel Agents has announced the appointment of Oliver Broad of Robert Broad Travel, Lichfield, as its new chairman to steer the organisation into a fresh era.

Oliver is supported by Ted Wake of Kirker Holidaysas his Deputy in the creation of a new supporting role. Together they will guide the group of 130 independent companies through a renaissance for travel agents which is seeing consumers returning to the High Street to buy their holidays at the expense of DIY internet bookings.

Oliver brings a dynamic edge to the role of chairman with a wealth of experience not just in agency sales and management but also social networking. He has over ten years’ experience in the family travel agency business, Robert Broad Travel, and has spent two years on the AITO Agents panel. One of its leading lights, he has helped developed new initiatives including AITOversity, AITO Agents All Stars and AITO Holiday Inspiration Week (2 – 9 October 2010). Oliver’s knowledge of online and new media combined with his infectious enthusiasm for the industry will help usher AITO Agents through the next decade as the panel focuses on further new initiatives. He and the panel, comprising five agents and four AITO operators, will ensure the organisation becomes the leading group of independent agents and the very first source of expert advice for Britain’s discerning travellers.

“AITO Agents is not a consortium and we don’t and won’t tell our members how to run their businesses,” comments Oliver. “With the support of 100 niche AITO tour operators who are committed to selling through AITO Agents, we will produce the training, marketing support and unique networking opportunities they require to help them stand out in a challenging trading environment.

“There is no doubt that the consumer is becoming more sophisticated and now needs expert personal advice more than ever before. As clients begin to suffer from ‘internet booking fatigue’ and move away from cheap ‘sausage factory’ holidays, AITO products are a refreshing alternative and the perfect tool to ensure that AITO Specialist Agents continue to stay ahead of the market. No other group of travel agents has such a diverse and specialist product range to offer to their clients. For those who seek a quality holiday experience away from the crowds, the expert advice and unique products available from AITO Specialist Travel Agents are exactly what they need.”

Never before have so many AITO operators sold through AITO Agents - more than 70% of AITO operators now do so. The creation of the new Deputy Chairman role, to which Ted Wake brings valuable experience and know-how from an operator’s perspective, reflects the growing co-operation between the two sides and the success of the Closer Ties scheme.

New members joining the AITO Agents panel have created a younger team full of ideas. The panel welcomes Tony Byrne from Great Rail Journeys and Peter Buckell from Global Travel Lounge. Other travel agent panel members include: Gemma Antrobus – Haslemere Travel, Paul Bennett – Colchester Travel, Stephanie Jones of operator Anatolian Sky, and Chris Edwards of operator ITC/Complete Caribbean.

With plenty of experts in the travel industry, who should you trust to give an honest insight into the current market? AITO Specialist Travel Agents ( represent 130 of the leading independent travel agencies in the UK – all fully independent, and all in the front line of the travel industry.

For more information on the 130 AITO Specialist Travel Agents, their specialities and their locations, visit or call 020 8744 9271.

16 September 2010
Press: For more information on AITO Specialist Travel Agents, please call Rob Looker or Ian Bradley on 020 8891 4440 or email

Nathan visits Switzerland...view video online now!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Bellagio Fountain Show, taken by Katherine during her trip...

Katherine had a fantastic trip around the American West, and one of the highlights was Las Vegas. In this video, Katherine captures the amazing water fountain show outside the Bellagio Hotel. More pictures and videos from Katherine's trip are coming soon!

Wedding Fayre success with Helen at Barton Marina...

What a fantastic day on Sunday! Our Wedding & Honeymoon specialist Helen represented us at a local Wedding Fayre along with our good friends from Beachcomber Tours.

Attendance was very good and we were able to talk to a large number of locals who are interested in arranging some fantastic trips!

Thanks to Helen for taking the time to arrange our stand, and for Beachcomber for their support. Pictured left is Helen on our stand.

For more details about getting married abroad or where to spend your Honeymoon, contact Helen on 01543 258631.

Helen enjoyed her own wedding in Barbados and also highly recommends Mauritius as a great wedding or Honeymoon destination (our MD's son got married there a few years ago, and with their 1 wedding per day policy your day really is extra special! )

Monday, 13 September 2010

Oliver visits Lebanon & Syria...

What a fantastic trip! Beirut is alive and doing extremely well for itself a lot of development still ongoing, and some fantastic shopping, cafes and restaurants ready and waiting to welcome visitors from around the world.

This pictures was taken from the top of the Four Seasons hotel in Beirut just after we arrived at about midnight. We spent 2 nights here visiting Byblos and the Jeitta caves, plus a fantastic walking tour of Beirut.

Then we traveled by car to see Baalbeck, more pictures of that fantastic roman site to come! We crossed the border into Syria staying at the Four Seasons in Damascus for a further 2 nights where we were able to visit Bosra in the south, just 5km from the Jordanian border. It certainly was a fantastic trip, thanks to Four Seasons and bmi for making it happen. I will post more pictures and details on here soon...