Account director Claire Brighton on her unexpected first few weeks

I write this at the start of my fourth week in the role of Atas account director and what has been a very different start to the one I was expecting.

We should remind ourselves that despite the entire travel industry being put on pause, the touring and adventure sector has been one of the fastest growing in the industry – and it will come back when the time is right.

But despite the setback of the coronavirus, I am so excited to be here at Atas. These first few, very challenging, weeks have shown me the travel industry really does come together in tough times and while trying not to sound too cheesy, I am hugely proud to be part of it.

Many of you are facing daily if not hourly challenges that you may have never faced before, and we want you to know we are here to help.

So I wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update on what I and Atas have been doing over the last few weeks and lots of exciting upcoming features for the touring and adventure sector that we have planned.

One of the key focuses of recent weeks has been to bring supplier members together to really work as one team. We have:

  • Created an advice hub for agents, giving them the latest updates from Atas supplier members
  • Wrote a letter to the prime minister and other senior ministers on behalf of all Atas suppliers to lobby the government for immediate industry support
  • Encouraged Atas supplier members to lobby their MPs with a version of the letter
  • Helped to bring Atas supplier members together to help repatriate customers, specifically those in New Zealand, where many operators are facing huge challenges

The Atas trade engagement team has also been working hard to bring our agent community new touring and adventure training opportunities, including new general modules, more supplier modules and new video training (all of which will be live very shortly), which will feature on our newly-introduced YouTube channel.

Now it’s your turn!

Is there something specific you would like to see from Atas in the short or the longer term? I would love to hear from any agents with ideas of what we can do for you. Please email me at or send me a Facebook message or a tweet @clairebrig or @ATAS_Travel

I look forward to hearing from you all,

Claire Brighton