The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)
As a member of the Great Rail Journeys Group of Companies, Rail Discoveries bookings are covered by the Association of Independent Tour Operators, an organisation representing over 150 of Britain's best specialist tour operators. Members of AITO strive to create holidays with high levels of professionalism and a shared concern for quality, personal service and customer satisfaction. The Association encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating and all members are fully bonded for clients' protection, in compliance with UK and European regulations. Great Rail Journeys Group - like all other AITO members - are also bound by the organisation's Quality Charter.
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.
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.
AITO endeavours to monitor quality standards regularly. All customers should receive a post-holiday questionnaire, the results of which are scrutinised by the Association.
All members acknowledge the importance of AITO's Sustainable 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 3, 4 or 5 star status.
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.
For further information about AITO visit www.aito.com or call 0208 744 9280.