That was the message of Aito Agents chair Gemma Antrobus speaking to TTG after the association’s domestic conference in Leicestershire.
The programme, which was introduced a year ago, recognises travel consultants for their participation within Aito.
Agents are scored on a number of criteria such as displaying the Aito logo on their website, referencing the association in press and marketing activity, attending Aito conferences and workshops, as well as growing sales and nurturing business relationships with Aito tour operators.
It is designed to celebrate agencies that do not tend to win awards based just on sales volumes, encourage more agents to take on greater responsibilities in the association and also inspire them to work more closely with supplier members.
Based on their engagement, members are ranked with Bronze, Silver or Gold Excellence status.
Over the past year, five agencies achieved Bronze, two Silver and five Gold status.
Antrobus, who is managing director of Haslemere Travel, said she believed the programme had been “a real success” and had heralded “a real change in attitude” across Aito’s membership.
“We’ve seen both agents who are new to Aito and who have been with us for years becoming more engaged, and from speaking to them this weekend it’s clear they’re getting more out of it for their business, which is why we started the scheme in the first place.”
There is also Platinum status available, but no members have achieved that level this year.
Antrobus said she did not expect any agents to reach the accolade during the scheme’s first year, but hoped many would strive to reach it in year two.