AITO announces winners of its 2018 members’ awards at AGM in London

March 1, 2019 | AITO Specialist Travel

Sustainable tourism

AITO, The Specialist Travel Association (, hosted its AGM yesterday (Wednesday, 27 February 2019) at the Royal Over-Seas League in London.

Photo caption (left to right): Several winners of the AITO members’ awards

Kate Kenward (AITO), Agustin Garcia (Spanish Tourist Office), Roland Hunter (The Mountain Company), Julie Sibley (Peter Sommer Travels), Zoe Davidson (McKinlay Kidd), Emma Taylor (Faremine), Roy Barker (SPIKE), Clare Purvis and Lindsay Garvey-Jones (Holiday Extras), Thomas Johnson (Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority), Tony Bean (Vamoos)

The AGM featured a mix of interesting and inspiring talks within the business sessions, including leading responsible tourism campaigner and industry expert Fiona Jeffery OBE, who founded international water aid charity, Just a Drop, and discussed how tour operators can ‘do the right thing’ in terms of their CSR strategy. Travel risk expert and author Lloyd Figgins is Chairman of the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP) Group and gave his insights on travel risk management and ‘lessons from the edge’, an overview of current threats levels within the adventure travel industry.

Some 136 AITO Tour Operators, AITO Agents, Affiliated Business Partners and Tourist Offices attended the AGM, which concluded with a networking lunch and the much-anticipated 2018 AITO member awards ceremony.

The award categories were AITO Tour Operator of the Year, AITO Affiliate Tourist Office of the Year and AITO Affiliate Business Partner of the Year.

Executive Director of AITO, Kate Kenward, says: “We are very pleased to be able to acknowledge the services and support provided by our Affiliate Business Partners and Tourist Offices, whose contribution to AITO is highly regarded by both our tour operators and travel agents.

“The Tour Operator award was, as ever, a very closely-run race; AITO members always score highly with their customer feedback. It’s great to see some of AITO’s smaller, specialist companies taking the top three positions amongst our 120-plus tour operators. We now have over 13,000 independent customer feedback comments on and it is becoming the go-to place for information and ideas on our specialist tour operators and their vast array of holiday experiences.”

2018 AITO Tour Operator of the Year

This award goes to those AITO members with exceptional reviews on

Gold: The Mountain Company
Silver: Peter Sommer Travels
Bronze: McKinlay Kidd

2018 AITO Affiliate Tourist Office

This award goes to the AITO Affiliate Tourist Office which provided the best service and product in 2018, as voted by AITO tour operators and agents.

Gold: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
Silver: Spanish Tourist Office
Bronze: South African Tourism

2018 AITO Affiliate Business Partner

This award goes to the AITO Business Partner which provided the best service and product in 2018, as voted by AITO tour operators and agents.

Gold: Fairmine
Silver: SPIKE
Bronze: Holiday Extras and Vamoos

All awards are made in respect of the calendar year from 1st January to 31st December, 2018.

For more information on AITO’s 120-plus specialist travel companies and their unrivalled collection of holiday ideas, covering every corner of the world, visit the website at

All AITO members are fully bonded, comply with AITO’s Quality Charter and aim to offer the best possible customer service.

Press: For further information on AITO, please contact Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email Jackie Franklin (, Sue Ockwell ( or Charlotte Griffiths (