Back in the distant days of the early 1990’s we had a dream to set up our own Tour Operating business in the niche market of garden tours. We would sit in our garden shed trying to come up with exciting itineraries on a typewriter (remember them?) of garden tours around the UK. Our tours were not exactly a ‘white-knuckle ride’ – Gardens of Cornwall, The Chelsea Flower Show and the ‘Queen Mother’s secret garden’ and our competitors smirked at us saying we were ‘too niche’ or they were just ‘Granny tours’ but we saw a gap in the market for quality garden tours and had a passion to make it happen.
What was a ‘white-knuckle ride’ to us at the time was the maze of regulations introduced to (quite rightly) protect customer’s money in the form of Bonding. We were young and inexperienced in business, and it was our good fortune that we fell into the lap of Travel and General who were launching ABTOT at that time, aimed directly at small to medium sized start-up Travel businesses to provide this type of bonding service. As our business grew ABTOT was always there for our non-licensable cover, and as we spread our wings T&G were there to help with our licensable bonding requirements for the CAA’s ATOL scheme.
T&G have always been very easy to deal with. They make what could be an onerous task into a straight forward quarterly performance review which helps me run our business professionally. ABTOT is now widely recognised by all regularity bodies as the professional institution to handle matters of bonding and travel industry matters.
We know if we have any concerns at all, we can pick up the phone and seek friendly advice from ABTOT, and it is with a degree of pride that Brightwater Holidays were ABTOT’s first member with the number 5001.
We now take thousands of passengers every year on our garden and special interest holidays to every corner of the globe – our competitors are not smirking now.