Touring and adventure sector performance outstripping 2019

The Association of Touring and Adventure (Atas) has seen its membership numbers bounce back to pre-pandemic levels as sales in the sector are outstripping 2019 bookings.

Claire Brighton, Atas account director, told a Travel Weekly webcast that the association has analysed data from its supplier members for the last five months of 2022 and the results are “really, really strong”.

“All those destinations that are key to our sector have started opening up again and those five months are stronger than 2019 growth, which is great to see,” she said.

“If you look at January [2023], the performances again are really strong.

“There are still restrictions in some of our key destinations so it’s not a like-for-like comparison but we are performing really well and agents realise it is a sector they can earn a lot of money from and customers have really high satisfaction levels too.”

She highlighted how customers who try to put together a touring or adventure holiday themselves would find it is about 30% more expensive than the equivalent package – and the agent’s commission earning is “very high” because average selling prices are higher than other sectors.

Also, touring and adventure holidays sold via agents have higher booking values than those sold direct, because agents are upselling and promoting more unusual destinations where clients appreciate the support of an agency, she added.

Brighton said more supplier members are due to be announced in April, and since January, four associate members have joined: the tourist boards of Malta, Finland, Greece and Estonia.

The Greek National Tourism Organisation has been announced as the sponsor of the destination showcase at the annual Atas conference, which will be in Liverpool on October 10-11.

Brighton expects more than 400 delegates at the event, which will see a new element added on the first day, with a workshop aimed at agents who are new to the sector.

“It is the place to be; touring and adventure is what people are looking for, people want to experience a destination,” she added.

As well as the annual conference, Atas will be hosting two regional networking events – one in the north and one in the south.

The Atas Touring and Adventure Month takes place in April, with the theme of ‘discover’.

More: Atas unveils ‘discover’ theme for Touring and Adventure Month