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AITO - Association of Independent Tour Operators

AITO logo AITO gets mentioned quite a lot in my lists. This is deliberate. AITO member companies - there are around 140 of them - are typically small (often family-run) specialist tour operators who really know their niche or destination.

As opposed to the large mainstream tour operators who (usually) offer high quality but rather standard holiday experiences, AITO operators tend to have unique and exclusive properties (hotels/villas), tours, excursions and experiences. Indeed when they grow to become successful brands with loyal customers, many of these small specialist companies get approached and bought up by the large operators who want some of the action!

Best of all, AITO companies come with full 100% consumer financial protection. AITO ensures that all holidays - including 'accommodation only' - its members operate are protected either through its own government approved bonding scheme (the AITO Trust) or through other schemes such as ATOL or ABTA. This means that in the event of an AITO tour operator failing, any money paid in advance to the member for a holiday will be refunded or if you are on holiday at the time of the failure you may complete the holiday.

 

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