Bharat Gadhoke has been promoted by Aito to the newly-created role of head of commercial.

He steps up from his former position as membership manager for 120-member strong specialist travel organisation.

Gadhoke was previously an account manager at member operator Beachcomber Tours, a manager at American Express Travel and at Flight Centre UK.

Aito deputy chairman John Tangney said:  “Formerly Aito’s membership nmanager, Bharat’s role has expanded considerably over the past five years, from research, recruitment and retention of top-quality members – both operators and agents – and keeping tabs on key industry issues to a far broader remit, including liaison with government departments on all the key topics affecting members.

“As Aito’s new head of commercial, Bharat’s much-expanded portfolio within the organisation has been recognised; he is, effectively, our new executive director’s deputy, delivering welcome continuity at a time of change.

“Aito is a modestly-sized trade association that punches way above its weight, due largely to the fact that the entire team is flexible and happy to turn their hand to whatever issues need attention.

“Bharat has proved to be a loyal and hard-working senior team member, hugely knowledgeable about the travel industry, and his promotion is due recognition of that fact.”

Executive director Martyn Sumners added: “Bharat is, in my view, a core member of the Aito team and I am delighted to recognise his sterling efforts over the past five years in the form of this well-deserved promotion.

“Bharat’s extensive experience and strong industry relationships – gained during both his time at Aito and in his previous industry roles within the travel sector – are, quite simply, invaluable to the entire Aito team, and especially to me as I settle into my new role.”