The Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers enters its second year with a new-look website, enhanced events and an increased membership. Robin Searle reports.
The Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers has created an agent membership category to encourage individual agents to increase their knowledge and boost sales within the sector.
Agent members of the association will receive a range of benefits, including preferential rates and invitations for events, marketing collateral and access to password-protected areas of a new Atas website at touringandadventure.com.
The website is designed to showcase the touring and adventure sector and Atas members, and will include trade-facing sections including a product search portal, an Atas members’ brochure rack and competitions and incentives exclusive to Atas agent members.
Annual individual agent membership will cost £40, with an early-bird rate of £30 for agents signing up before June 15. Discounts will also be available for agencies registering multiple members.
Giles Hawke, Atas chairman, said: “The association was founded with the aim of increasing travel agents’ knowledge and sales in what can be an incredibly lucrative sector for them, and we have been blown away by the response.
“We believe that agent membership will give our trade partners the key support and tools they need to further grow their expertise and create ‘Atas Champions’ within their agencies, and will allow us to further invest in Atas activity and events to grow the sector for the benefit of both our supplier and agent members.”
Atas was founded in April 2017, with 21 touring and adventure suppliers joining forces with Travel Weekly to promote the sector.
At the start of its second year, the association has 29 supplier members, in addition to 10 associate members representing leaders in technology, marketing and systems.
In October 2017, more than 300 delegates, including 200 frontline agents, attended the inaugural Atas Conference at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre, enjoying business sessions, a trade fair, a gala dinner and awards. An expanded conference is planned for this autumn.
In addition, around 120 agents who are new to the sector have been invited by members to attend an Atas Southern Showcase event in London in June.
The supplier members of Atas are: AAT Kings, Abercrombie & Kent, APT, Back-Roads Touring, Collette, Cosmos, Cox & Kings, Exodus, Explore, Headwater, G Adventures, Great Rail Journeys, Insight Vacations, Intrepid Group, JG Travel Group, Kuoni, Leger Holidays, Newmarket Holidays, Regent Holidays, Saga Holidays, Scenic, Shearings Holidays, Riviera Travel, Titan, Topdeck, Trafalgar, Travelsphere/Just You, TrekAmerica/Grand American Adventures, Wendy Wu Tours.
The associate members are: Accord Marketing, Brand USA, d-flo, Dolphin Dynamics, Faremine, Global, Tigerbay, Tourhound, Traveltek, Zolv.
Atas enhances new website with TourHound and Widgety
Atas has teamed up with technology platforms Widgety and TourHound to enable travel agent members of the association to search and access product information on touringandadventure.com.
The TourHound platform will allow agents to search supplier members’ product by destination, tour type or keywords, and will also feature special offers.
Managing director Laurence Hicks said: “We have created a bespoke white-label version of our site [for Atas] which will allow agent members to easily search product and really add value for their customers.
“Touring and adventure can be compared to cruise or ski in that it is quite a complex sector and can be difficult for agents to embrace, but we believe that having a tool which simplifies that search process will open a lot of agents’ eyes to the breadth and opportunities in the sector.”
In addition to searching and comparing tours and prices, agent members will also be able to view in-depth marketing collateral through the partnership with digital brochure rack specialist Widgety.
Owner Damian Gevertz said: “Our new partnership with Atas allows us to start providing UK travel agents with the tour operator brochures and resources that they choose, to be used by customers online and in store.
“It’s a great way for Widgety to expand into this sector, and a completely new way for tour operators to keep their own brochures and information up to date on the web, while also reaching a much wider audience.”
In addition to featuring on the Atas website, brochures uploaded by supplier members will also appear via Widgety on their Facebook pages.
Check out the all-new touringandadventure.com
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