The AITO Closer Ties scheme has been  hailed as a success following its introduction 18 months ago.

AITO Specialist Travel Agents chairman Barry Moxley said the scheme – which guarantees agents a 10% commission from participating operators – has been taken up by 126 agent members and 64 tour operators.

He said: “The Closer Ties scheme has matured and agents and operators are now seeing the benefits of having a closer relationship as it grows their businesses and profits.”

Kitts Travel director Andrew Rowdon agreed the scheme was a success saying before joining he had only ever secured a single booking through Sunvil Latin America worth £1,500. Since he joined around a year ago he has now generated bookings worth £40,000 as the agency increasingly specialises in South America and the Galapagos Islands.

Cannon Travel director Kevin Brooks added since joining Closer Ties he has now formed a strong working relationship with AITO operator Distinctive America through which he is hoping to secure a group booking for 20 customers worth up to £100,000 to the operator.