The boss of the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (Abtot) has hailed the “perseverance” of his team as the bonding body celebrated its 30th anniversary.
More than 100 Abtot members, associates and partners attended a celebration event in London on Wednesday (May 24) to mark the occasion.
Richard Watson, Abtot managing director, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating our 30th anniversary. This achievement is a result of our team’s perseverance in what has at times been a challenging industry to work within, particularly over the past couple of years.
“This milestone is also testament to our members’ trust in our work, and our commitment to the travel industry.”
Abtot showed a short film at the event, featuring key milestones during the past 30 years and a networking event at the Courthouse Hotel’s Sky Terrace.
There was also a business session moderated by Chris Photi, head of the travel and leisure team at White Hart Associates, with speakers from Abtot, t&g, the Department of Business and Trade and Atol.
Abtot also announced its partnership with Trees4Travel has seen the planting of 13 trees and compensated for more than tonnes of CO2 through renewal.
Abtot started in 1993 in response to the introduction in 1992 of Package Travel Regulations (PTRs).
It was awarded an Atol franchise in 2017 enabling it to cover flight and non-flight bookings for approved members.
That year also saw the start of the first of Abtot’s three merchant acquiring schemes, giving members enjoy beneficial acquiring rates and a streamlined application process.
In 2019, Abtot launched the Associate Scheme, strengthening relationships between companies supplying legal, financial and consultancy services to the organisation and its members.
Then, in 2021, Abtot took over the management of the Bonded Coach Holiday Scheme from the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) bringing more than 90 coach holiday members under Abtot’s financial protection.
More than 270 travel organisers are now members of Abtot, ranging from small independent travel organisers to multinational organisations.
Pictured: Chris Photi (left) with business session panel.