Rewarding customer satisfaction

By | Category: Travel news

aito_Affiliate_MasterAs readers are aware, customer satisfaction is important if not vital to a holiday and Just about Travel has always been assiduous in mentioning it when it happens.

At the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) 40th birthday party this week, members recounted those early days. Derek Moore, the chairman, said, “Following the collapse of Court Line and the introduction of the ATOL bonding system in 1975, AITO was started in April 1976 with just 20 members. The main aim then was to achieve a ‘realistic and fair level of bonding in order to discourage reckless trading and avoid the risk of a drain on the Air Travel Reserve fund by unscrupulous or incompetent tour operators’. It’s ironic to see that, 40 years later, not much has changed on the UK travel landscape.”

When AITO dishes out its awards, there is a logic in how the awards are distributed. It isn’t based on who gets the most votes or self-lobbying to achieve votes, it is based on hard facts that any investigative travel writer would find hard to fault.

The 2015 AITO Tour Operator of the Year is based on which company has had exceptional customer reviews on AITO.com during 2015. The number of reviews had to be 10% or more of the total annual passengers carried to ensure a true reflection of that company’s performance. Therefore every AITO member – and there are over 120 members – is in the running. And they can’t influence the results unless they tell all their clients to provide reviews to AITO.

The overall winner was Peter Sommer Travels, a Monmouthshire based company specialising in cultural tours and gullet cruises to Greece, Italy and Turkey, the silver award went to Ciceroni Travel from Banbury who also organise cultural tours and the bronze went to The Mountain Company, a London based, adventure travel company.

After moaning that a lot of awards don’t have a customer service element, with this one award, AITO is reminding the travel industry that customer satisfaction is something that no travel company can forget.

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