ABTOT joins UK outbound travel lobbying group

The Advantage Travel Partnership, Britain’s largest consortium of independent travel agents, and AITO (The Specialist Travel Association) announced today that ABTOT will be joining their lobbying efforts with immediate effect.

ABTOT is an approved body, appointed by the UK Government Department for Business and Trade, and operates and regulates a financial protection bonding scheme for travel organisers who need to comply with UK Travel Regulations.

Advantage and AITO formed a partnership in October 2022 to raise the profile of the independent and specialist UK outbound travel industry with UK government and policymakers, and to draw political attention to the many issues facing their members.

Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO, The Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “We are delighted to welcome ABTOT and its 300-strong membership to our lobbying group.  Having another significant and highly respected brand and organisation working alongside us will support our lobbying efforts considerably and will help us further in terms of amplifying the profile of the UK outbound travel industry.  Many more of our collective members will now have the opportunity to meet with their local MPs, spreading the word still further about the relevance of the UK outbound travel industry in terms of its huge delivery to the UK economy.

“Advantage and AITO have gained good ground over the last year, and now with ABTOT on board, I am confident that we can achieve even more with our political engagement, as well as continuing to bring other organisations on board.  With the likelihood of an election, and, possibly, a new government within the next 12 months, it’s important we further mobilise ourselves still further improving Westminster’s understanding of the UK outbound travel industry, ensuring that we are recognised by the various Government Departments that control our future.”

Samantha Bradbury, Membership Director, ABTOT, said: “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Advantage and AITO. Through our collaboration we aim to shed light on the real issues that ABTOT members grapple with daily by standing together, amplifying our shared concerns, and working towards practical solutions on the political landscape.”

Lo Bue-Said concluded: “We are committed to maintaining a clear vision, empowering the industry with a robust voice and strong representation. By fostering collaboration across sectors, we aim to boost the industry’s impact, drawing inspiration from other successful lobbying groups, such as UK Hospitality and Airlines UK. Our ultimate goal is to emerge as the authoritative voice for UK outbound travel, and we eagerly anticipate the possibility of announcing additional partners in 2024.”

The extended partnership with ABTOT covers more than 1200 leisure and business travel businesses across the UK.