Ambassador Scheme will engage prospective new members

The Association of Group Travel Organisers (AGTO) is looking to recruit new group organiser members with a campaign that will include the introduction of an Ambassador scheme and additional member benefits.

The recruitment campaign will embrace advertising, mailings, digital marketing, attendance at trade shows and PR. In addition, the Association is actively seeking to expand its network of Branches around the country so that more members have access to AGTO locally.

The Ambassador scheme will see the Association's existing 400 GTO members wear a specially designed badge to identify them as an AGTO representative at trade shows and other events. This will enable them to engage with prospective new organiser members and talk to them about the benefits of joining AGTO. A series of briefing sessions and an incentive scheme will operate to assist existing members to undertake this work.

New membership benefits being introduced include a series of networking events at AGTO's seven Branches around the UK with speakers covering subjects such as legislation changes affecting GTOs and social media usage.

More regular communication with organiser members to highlight new special offers from AGTO supplier members will also be introduced as well as a new free Marketing Hotline to add to the existing Legal Hotline.

AGTO's Chief Executive, Mike Bugsgang, said: "These are exciting developments. In 2015 the Association agreed a strategy that would initially conduct research amongst its members and industry opinion formers, build profile and awareness of the trade body then undertake a rebranding exercise including a change of name. Having successfully carried out these tasks, the next phase planned would be the recruitment of new members, especially group organisers.

"The important thing to bear in mind when seeking to recruit new members is that it's not just about numbers. The Association has been in operation for 25 years and whilst GTO membership is open to all bona fide organisers that arrange anything from a couple of day trips a year to over 100 including overseas destinations, we are conscious that it is important that we attract the right type of members."

Current benefits available to GTO members are particularly attractive. Topping the list is the highly discounted exclusive insurance policy through Towergate that can literally save an organiser hundreds of pounds. Other key benefits include free trade passes to many of the UK's leading destinations such as those run by English Heritage and the National Trust. However, in a recent survey amongst members, two of the highest scoring benefits were the networking opportunities through the Association's seven Branches around Britain and being kept up-to-date with legislation such as the Package Travel Directive.

Bugsgang added: "At £30 per annum, GTO membership represents outstanding value and we will obviously be communicating this fact strongly in our recruitment campaign."

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