Welcome to the Official Website for the ASSOCIATION OF Group Travel Organisers 

Email: agto@agto.co.uk      Tel: 020 8253 4505

The AGTO is an independent organisation representing the interests of those who organise tours and trips for groups as well as those who provide services for group travel.

The Association has over 200 supplier members that provide GTOs with information on everything from tours,  hotels and destinations to museums, galleries, gardens and attractions.

Our supplier members can support you with organising day trips, overnights, short haul or long haul excursions as well as offering exclusive fam trips and educationals. For more information just click on the 'Special Offers' link below.

The AGTO also offers our Organiser members an exclusive Organisers Liability Insurance Scheme as well as free legal advice and much more.

AGTO - The Organisation For Organisers!

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Documents and offers on this website are in PDF format. If you cannot open them you will need to download Adobe Reader. This is FREE and SAFE to do by clicking here (link opens in a new window)

Photo credits: VisitBritain, VisitScotland, VisitEngland/VisitGreenwich, Dean & Chapter of Westminster

AGTO Notice Board


2019 Tourism Statistics Publication

With it increasing looking like we will have an election before the end of the year, the Tourism Alliance have produced a new version of the Tourism Statistics publication which is a compendium of facts and figures that you can use in putting together manifestos, lobbying documents and submissions. The headline figures are that tourism generates revenue of £149.5bn per annum. This is up £18.5bn over the last two years – which is growth of 14.5% - making tourism one of the UK’s largest and most successful industries.  If you would like a full copy of the report, please contact: ceo1@agto.co.uk 





The Government has announced its new policy on EU nationals coming to the UK after Brexit. This includes that new policy regarding ID cards that I mentioned earlier. Here’s the relevant link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-immigration-after-free-movement-ends-if-theres-no-deal/immigration-from-30-march-2019-if-there-is-no-deal#third-country-family-members-accompanying-eu-citizens

The key phrase on ID cards is:

The UK will also be phasing out the use of EEA national identity cards for travel to the UK. This will happen during 2020. More details will be provided in due course.

It will be interesting to see what they mean by “phasing out … during 2020” but it suggests a level of complexity which could be difficult convey to visitors.

The main new policy in the paper is to outline arrangements for a transition period between 31 October 2019 and 31 December 2020 during which EU nationals will be able to move to the UK and live, study and work as they do now by applying for a 36 month temporary immigration status - European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR). This TLR can be used as a route to applying for permanent settled status.

Other tourism-related points in the paper

  1. EU citizens will be able to use e-Gates if they are travelling on a biometric passport
  2. They will not face routine intentions testing which will help queuing times
  3. The blue EU customs channel will be removed so everyone (including UK nationals) will have to go through the red and green channels in future.






AGTO strengthens Board with four new directors

AGTO, the Association of Group Travel Organisers, has appointed four new directors as it moves forward to further strengthen membership and travel trade engagement.

The new directors are Lynne Cooper, group travel trade manager with New Lanark Mills World Heritage Site, Joanna Freeman, marketing and social media executive with UK Parliament (the Houses of Parliament), Helen Goggin, sales manager at national Coach Holiday operator Alfa Travel, and Elizabeth Mounser, proprietor of Yorkshire-based E. M. Consultancy. 

Commenting on the changes, Wendy Hartley-Scarff, AGTO chief executive, says: “I’m delighted to welcome Lynne, Joanna, Helen and Elizabeth to the AGTO Board. They bring with them valuable experience that will play a key role as we continue to strengthen our membership and travel trade engagement. I would also like to pay my special thanks to Alex and Martin. Over the last few years they, along with our other directors, have been instrumental in the continued growth of AGTO. We are now in a strong position to further develop our position as the UK’s largest independent membership organisation supporting and representing the interests of individuals who organise travel for groups.”




DIRECTORS step down from the BOARD 





2020 AGTO SHOWCASE weekend

21, 22 ,23 February 2020



The 2020 ‘AGTO Showcase Weekend’ will take place over the weekend of 21 to 23 February at Ettington Chase, a 4-star hotel, event and conference centre close to Stratford-upon-Avon.


The 2019 event saw GTO and Associate (supplier) members follow ‘Robin Hood’ to Wollaton Hall in Nottingham

The Showcase Weekend, one of the major annual events in the AGTO calendar, offers a unique opportunity for GTOs from across the country to network with many of the country’s leading destinations, visitor attractions and travel trade suppliers. The weekend programme includes a travel trade exhibition, familiarisation trips and a gala dinner.

Commenting, Wendy Hartley-Scarff, AGTO chief executive, says: “The AGTO Showcase Weekend is a unique and prestigious industry event. It brings together our GTO and Associate members, offering unique networking opportunities in a relaxed and tranquil setting. We’ve chosen Stratford-upon-Avon not only to make it is easy as possible for members from across the UK to attend, but also because of the magnificent choice of visitor attractions in the area.

“Our 2019 Showcase Weekend, held at Eastwood Hall in Nottinghamshire, and including ‘fam’ trips to find out more about Robin Hood, D.H.Lawrence and Lord Byron was very well received by members. We’re building on that success to offer a first-class weekend in Stratford that will appeal to our members across the country.”

The Association of Group Travel Organisers (AGTO) is the UK’s largest independent membership organisation supporting and representing the interests of individuals who organise travel for groups. Associate membership is available to destinations, visitor attractions and any travel trade supplier that provide services for group travel.

Established in 1990, the Association now has more than 400 group travel organiser members and 200 Associate members. Membership services include bespoke organiser liability insurance, legal updates, an advice line, VIP registration to trade shows, free membership of the National Trust and English Heritage, free access to National Trust for Scotland properties, and a range of other discounts and offers.







30 minutes free telephone advice at a time, on areas such as:

-Litigation (i.e. customer or supplier disputes);

-Commercial (i.e. advice regarding Terms and Conditions, Agreements, GDPR etc.);

-Regulatory (i.e. advice concerning the Package Travel Regulations, ATOL Regulations etc.);

-Intellectual Property;

-Corporate Legal Advice;

-Health and Safety.

CALL 0113 258 0033





AGTO attends all the major trade shows during the year. It also exhibits at many of the regional trade events.  For the latest Events Diary listing, click here

Read the Latest AGTO MAGAZINE

Last one in the current format, next edition will be revamped with look, feel and content.  Click here


See AGTO's latest in the Press, click here


Salisbury, part of the new 'Great West Way' tourism initiative.PM announces new ‘Tourism Sector Deal’

The Prime Minister has announced the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal today, reaffirming the UK’s global role as a key player in the industry.

The announcement says the new deal will revolutionise the way data is used by the sector, through the creation of new Tourism Data Hub. The hub will collate regularly updated data showing the latest trends and spends, allowing businesses to better target overseas visitors.

The deal will also support the creation of an additional 10,000 apprenticeships for people building their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Salisbury, part of the new 'Great West Way' tourism initiative.

Salisbury, part of the new 'Great West Way' tourism initiative.

The government says that last year around 38 million people visited the UK, contributing £23 billion to the local economy. By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional nine million visitors to the UK. The new deal commits to building an additional 130,000 hotel rooms to respond to the increased demand for infrastructure.

The deal also outlines the government’s ambitions for the UK to become the most accessible destination for disabled visitors, through improvement of disabled facilities and access to destinations across the country.

Prime Minister Theresa May says: “As one of the most visited countries in the world, the UK is a world leader in international tourism and it is crucial that we remain globally competitive to meet growing demands. That’s why today I am pleased to announce the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal, ensuring that we continue to innovate, boost connectivity and economic productivity, expand career pathways and break down barriers for visitors with disabilities. This deal recognises the important role tourism plays, and will continue to play, in showcasing what our great country has to offer.”

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright says: “Today we have set out our vision for the future of UK tourism – a commitment to an industry that is vital for the prosperity of our communities, our businesses and our economy. The UK is one of the world’s greatest destinations and this deal recognises the importance of maximising our natural assets. We are dedicated to supporting life-long careers for those that work in tourism, offering insightful data to help grow businesses and ultimately creating a better visitor experience throughout the UK.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark says: “Tourism is one of our most valuable industries and it plays a vital role in our economy, with nearly two million people employed in the communities across the country and £23 billion pounds spent by visitors in the UK last year. As part of today’s ground-breaking Deal, new Tourism Zones will deliver a direct boost to holiday destinations across the country, helping create new jobs as well as supporting improvements in transport connections.

“This is one of the many ways in which the Deal will be key in building a world-class experience economy, helping us deliver on the ambition we set out in our modern Industrial Strategy; Government and industry working hand-in-hand to build on our exceptional strengths in this sector, boosting productivity and further increasing the UK’s attractiveness as a holiday destination.”

Other commitments in the Tourism Sector Deal include:

• more than 130,000 new hotel rooms are set to be built across the UK, with 75% being built outside of London. £250,000 to improve broadband connectivity in conferences centres across the UK for business visitors.

• a pilot of up to five new Tourism Zones to drive visitor numbers across the country. Zones will receive Government support for growing their local visitor economy, through initiatives like targeted support for product and promotion development, mentoring support to businesses and digital skills training.

• 10,000 employees in the sector to benefit from new mentorship schemes.

• a new government strategy to grow the number of Business Events and Conferences, helping to drive off-season visitors.

• developed in partnership with the British Tourist Authority and Industry, the sector deal forms part of the UK Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy supporting the continued growth of the tourism sector, ensuring the UK remains globally competitive as a top tourist destination

British Tourist Authority Chair Steve Ridgway CBE says: “This sector deal is a game-changer for tourism, one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, spelling a step-change in how we underpin the success of tourism for a generation, moving it to the top table as a leading industry for the UK Government’s future economic planning.

“And it is a game-changer for the economy, growing the value of the industry and employment in tourism, fixing issues from skills and productivity to extending the season year-round, building stronger tourism destinations up and down the country and developing world-class experiences for domestic and international visitors. Tourism is one of the most fiercely competitive global industries and this deal ensures we can continue to compete internationally as a top destination for visitors, driving major economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

UKinbound chair James Aitken says: “We are really pleased that a Sector Deal has been secured with the Government and congratulate all those involved who have helped to drive this work forward. Tourism is a major contributor to the UK economy but is made up primarily of small businesses and cuts across many different policy areas.

“For the first time, we will have a national strategy that will help bring the sector together and collaborate on activities and initiatives. This will ultimately help visitors get to destinations quickly and easily, have a better experience in those destinations, improve productivity and efficiency and raise awareness about the fantastic employment opportunities the industry provides.”



1 JULY 2018

What is the EU Package Travel Directive?

Information from Towergate plus a protective policy click here


The new legislation came into effect on the 25th May and with all the hype around the new elements of the ruling we can be forgiven for getting a little worried, but advice from our Advisors, Travlaw is:




Special Bulletins were issued to all members in May highlighting the changes together with some FAQs received from AGTO members.

To read the Special Bulletins click here  FAQs click here



We will be exhibiting at the event and again are a sponsor at the Awards evening.  We are sponsoring The Excellence Award -  special award for an indivdual’s service to group travel organisers, presented annually at the Group Leisure & Travel Awards.

2018 was a great evening where AGTO sponsored Best Guided Tour which was won by Woburn Abbey & Gardens

See all the 2018 winners  click here

Picture gallery of the 2018 evening click here

Picture gallery of the 2018 Show click here

New venue for 2019 -  The 2019 Group Leisure & Travel Awards will take place on Wednesday 9th October at the Hilton hotel at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.






Especially for AGTO GTO members National Trust Scotland has replicated the deal we have for GTOs with the National Trust in the UK – free entrance to NTS sites – some 88 properties and 76,000 hectares of countryside & gardens.  Further information click here