The Advantage Travel Partnership has launched its first ‘touring month’, working with the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) to promote the growing sector.

The consortium is offering its members information, incentives, promotional material and special offers throughout April.

There are also details of fam trip places, and consumer offers for members’ customers.

John Sullivan, Advantage’s head of commercial, said: “We see touring as the next big thing and thought we would be the first mover and the first consortium to get behind touring.

“We are seeing growth in the touring and adventure sector, so we are getting behind it.”

He said the diverse range of Advantage members were seeing success in the sector as it has a broad appeal – from agencies with a mature clientele who book escorted tours to those with younger customers seeking adventure holidays.

“Some members are very engaged with the sector already, but others may be more reticent, so we want to help,” he said.

“There is no secret that this year is a challenge but outside the mass market, sectors such as cruising, long-haul and touring are still seeing good growth.”

Victoria Jones, Advantage’s commercial account manager, said members had been “really engaged” so far with the touring month, with several organising events and requesting more material for their agencies.

“The artwork is pretty striking and has eye-catching images,” she added.

Andrea Powell, managing director of Advantage agency Idelo Travel, is backing the touring month.

“It is really important for a consortium to help agents keep up with new and emerging trends and this is yet another example of how Advantage is great at helping their members,” she said.

“The expertise from Advantage really adds to our own in-house initiatives. It does indeed help to promote and ultimately sell more touring.”

She said the sector is growing thanks to a greater range of flights to more unusual destinations, and wider awareness following celebrity travel shows, such as Joanna Lumley’s programme about the Silk Route.

“We have had customers visit Chernobyl, climb Mount Etna, stay with Buddhist Monks in India, and take a two week tour to Uzbekistan,” said Powell.

“There is always the quest to ‘do something different’ but maybe with a bit of a safety net that you get with a small group or escorted tour – and there is a desire for that ‘bucket list’ dream trip.”

At last May’s conference, Advantage unveiled a new comparison tool for agents to help them sell touring and adventure holidays.

The Advantage Tour Finder is powered by TourHound, an associate member of Atas.

More: Advantage Travel Partnership launches Tour Finder at Miami conference