Kuoni has become the latest tour operator to join marketing consortium the Truly Independent Professional Travel Organisation.

The operator brings the TIPTO membership to 17 and represents a coup for the organisation as Kuoni remains one of the largest long-haul tour operators in the country.

TIPTO chairman Graham Balmforth said: “To be able to attract a major household name like Kuoni speaks volumes about TIPTO’s role and strength in today’s marketplace.

“For any organisation wanting a cost-effective, consistent and successful means of strengthening its relationship with these core travel partners, our roadshows, website and other activities are clearly leading the field.”

Kuoni has joined TIPTO as it begins the second leg of its 19-date annual roadshow which is open to the organisation’s 3,000 independent travel agent members.

Kuoni trade relations manager Steve Price-Jones said: “No-one should doubt the value we place on our travel agent partners. They are frontline for us and we know what a fantastic job they do.

“By joining TIPTO we believe we can further enhance that relationship, keeping agents abreast of our diverse product range, great special offers and the support the trade relations team can offer, including agency support, sales development and agency training. 

“TIPTO’s highly-regarded roadshows will increase our opportunities to meet agents face to face, while the TIPTO website, with well over 3,000 agents registered, provides further opportunities for product updates and tactical messages.

“We are looking forward to becoming closely involved with all the great work that TIPTO undertakes.”

Kuoni is the second company to join TIPTO’s line-up since the New Year after Peter Deilmann River & Ocean Cruises signed last month.