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New Aito STA chairman plans accreditation scheme

New Aito Specialist Travel Agents chairman Gemma Antrobus has revealed plans for an accreditation scheme for members.

The scheme, currently in the early stages of planning, would involve accreditation based on loyalty and commitment of Aito STA members. Aito STA, the travel agency branch of the Association of Independent Tour Operators, has 123 branches in its membership.

The new scheme will aim to increase awareness of Aito STA, also known as Aito Agents, and encourage counter staff to use the Aito brand as a selling tool by explaining why agents sell their tour operator partners and the independent values they stand for.

Antrobus, who has just been appointed chairman, said: “My focus is to make the association more about its members. We are large enough to make a difference, but small enough to matter.

“The accreditation scheme will help members to translate to clients what Aito is. It is important consumers understand and appreciate the values of booking with an Aito agent.”

Antrobus has taken over from Oliver Broad, chairman for the past four years.  He said the association had succeeded in attracting a younger membership and become more dynamic under his chairmanship.

“The biggest achievement has been the modernisation of Aito Agents and there is now a greater mix with more younger members of the agent community,” he said.

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