Twenty-two leading touring and adventure travel suppliers have joined forces to create an association to raise trade awareness and drive sales within the sector.

The Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) will have a presence online and in print through the Travel Weekly portfolio, and will hold an overnight agent conference in the autumn.

The association aims to incentivise travel agents to increase knowledge and sales within the sector, with a series of promotions and rewards due to be unveiled in the coming months.

Giles Hawke, chief executive of Cosmos Tours & Cruises, has been appointed chairman for the association’s first 12 months. He believes the time is right for the sector to work together to build on a growing appetite from consumers and the trade.

He said: “Touring and adventure holidays are going through a real change and resurgence as newer entrants challenge and shake up the traditional view of what a touring holiday is and longer-term players are really upping their games.

“The creation of this association will help move touring and adventure holidays into the consciousness of all travel agents in the UK.”

Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly Group, said: “Travel Weekly has worked closely with Clia to build agents’ knowledge and confidence in selling cruise, and we believe that the touring and adventure sector has the opportunity to engage and grow in the same way.

“We are delighted that so many leading operators have shown their support by becoming founder members of Atas, and we look forward to working with them all to champion the sector.”

The founder members of Atas are AAT Kings; APT Touring; Back-Roads Touring; Collette; Cosmos Tours and Cruises; Exodus Travels; G Adventures; Great Rail Journeys; Headwater; Insight Vacations; Intrepid Group; Leger Holidays; Newmarket Holidays; Riviera Travel; Saga Holidays; Shearings Holidays; Tauck; Titan; Trafalgar; Travelsphere/Just You; TrekAmerica and Wendy Wu Tours.

For more information and to sign up to receive Atas newsletters, click here.

This story was updated to include Travelsphere/Just You’s membership of Atas.