AITO Quality Charter

The Association of Independent Tour Operators

AITO is the Association for independent and specialist holiday companies. Our member companies, usually owner-managed, strive to create overseas holidays with high levels of professionalism and a shared concern for quality and personal service. The Association encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating.

  • Exclusive membership - AITO sets criteria regarding ownership, finance and quality which must be satisfied before new companies are admitted to membership. All members are required to adhere to a Code of Business Practice which encourages high operational standards and conduct.
  • Financial security - An AITO member is required to protect money paid by customers to the member for any holiday sold under the AITO logo. This protection applies to customers who are in the UK at the time of booking or to overseas customers who have booked directly with the member. Members have to comply with UK Government Regulations in this respect. Members submit details of their bonding or guarantee arrangements to the Association on a regular basis.
  • Accurate brochures and websites - All members do their utmost to ensure that all their brochures and other publications, print or electronic, clearly and accurately describe the holidays and services offered.
  • Professional service and continual improvements - All members are committed to high standards of service and believe in regular and thorough training of employees. Members continually seek to review and improve their holidays.  They listen to their customers and always welcome suggestions for improving standards.
  • Monitoring standards - AITO endeavours to monitor quality standards regularly. All customers should receive a post-holiday questionnaire the results of which are scrutinised by the Association.
  • Responsible tourism - All members acknowledge the importance of AITO’s Responsible Tourism guidelines, which recognise the social, economic and environmental responsibilities of tour operating. Those demonstrating their achievements beyond the pure acceptance of this principle are recognised by the award of 2 to 5 star status.
  • Customer relations - All members endeavour to deal swiftly and fairly with any issues their customers may raise. In the unlikely event that a dispute between an AITO member and a customer cannot be settled amicably, AITO’s low-cost Independent Dispute Settlement Service may be called upon by either side to bring the matter to a speedy and acceptable conclusion.

1st Class Holidays is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. To contact the Association, visit www.aito.co.uk or call 020 8744 9280.