Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers unveils new agent services

The Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers has unveiled more services to help agents capitalise on rising demand for holidays in the sector.

Atas account director Claire Brighton (pictured) revealed the new features during the association’s conference in Birmingham on Wednesday (October 20).

Developments include a free search widget from associate member TourHound, which agents can add to their website, and a dedicated Atas training week from December 6-10 to help agents prepare for the busy peaks sales period over New Year and January.

Brighton also said next year’s touring and adventure month in April will feature “more campaigns, more training, more assets and competitions”.

She urged agents to ensure they are on the Atas website as there will be a customer search function added.

Agents also heard how lucrative the sector can be for agents, thanks to the commission levels offered by operators and the holidays’ value for money.

Brighton said the average holiday in the sector cost £2,900 and the average party size was 2.8 – making the average booking value about £7,540.

With commission being about 12% or more, that means a booking could net an agent £900.

She urged agents to book the suppliers’ ‘hero’ offers, adding: “If you sell an extra touring or adventure holiday per month, that is an extra £10,800 for your business a year.

“Sell an extra one per fortnight and that is £23,400 extra, and one a week would be £43,8000 extra.”

She said operators offer price parity for trade bookings and the holidays are “amazing value” as they are about 30% cheaper than an independently packaged holiday put together by a consumer.

To highlight the value of escorted tours, three agents from the audience joined her on stage for a game of ‘The Price is Right’, along with conference moderator, Lucy Huxley, the editor-in-chief of media partner Travel Weekly.

Representatives from APT, Explore, Travelsphere, Newmarket Holidays and Cosmos showcased some of their key itineraries for the agents to guess the price – and to demonstrate the value of all the included elements, such as flights, meals, accommodation and experiences.

About 250 agents attended the face-to-face event at Birmingham’s the International Convention Centre and the total delegate numbers of 350 made it the biggest conference yet from Atas.

Picture by Steve Dunlop Photographer.