History of the Association

How the Association was formed…

The concept of GTOA (as it was formerly known) was the brainchild of Peter Stonham – former editor of the Group Travel Organiser Magazine and has been growing ever since.

It came to Peter’s attention that there were many people organising either for their club or as part of the sports and social club of their company and they were writing to the editor for information about various venues, places to go, or even problems they had experienced.

With this in mind Peter formed the Group Travel Organiser’s Association, as a totally separate entity to the magazine, although at the time, the administration of the association at the magazine's headquarters. A steering committee was formed, with Margaret Davies at the helm working closely with Peter Stonham. The first branch was formed in 1991 as the Northern Branch. From the interest shown and the success of this branch it was obvious that a Southern branch should be formed to enable more members to attend meetings and to share their interests with other GTOs. A National Committee was formed with Margaret Davies in the chair, working alongside companies who were interested in developing group travel in their business. At that time, the Association was having support from the Group Leisure magazine so decided to manage our own affairs, thus having coverage from both magazines and this is the situation to date. There are now six Branches in total - North, South, East, West, Central and Kent, with members being invited to join the branch most local to them. Although Margaret Davies has now retired from organising, we all look upon her with the greatest affection and she is now our President and first honorary member.

Each branch is responsible for their own meetings and also their AGM. Highlights of the year are the Showcase and AGM weekends - events not to be missed. Each year at these events we meet with other GTOs, Associate members and Intermediate members. We hold a trade fair, participate in various familiarisation trips, finishing with a superb Gala Dinner.  

In January 2016 GTOA rebranded to Association of Group Tour Operators ( AGTO). 


June 2016 - For details click here