The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO, has announced a very special guest to appear as keynote speaker at its conference (22 – 25 November) in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

Monty Halls, the British conservationist, marine biologist and presenter of Channel 4’s My Family and the Galapagos, will give a talk to AITO delegates on his extraordinary family travel adventures, conservation and environmental issues and immersive travel experiences.

Monty, who is President of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, will be appearing at the conference with his family; wife, Tamsyn (also a keen conservationist) and their daughters Isla, six, and Molly, four. The family uprooted to the Galapagos for three months and uncovered the strains put on this archipelago of volcanic Ecuadorian islands, where tourism and environmental changes are endangering not only the region’s ecosystem, with flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the world, but also its people.

His talk will offer delegates an insight into sustainable tourism in action and will take them through his tales of how the family managed their new life on the Galapagos, and the challenges they faced.

AITO Chairman, Derek Moore, says: “We are thrilled to have Monty and his family come and speak at the conference this year. Our delegates will have a unique chance to hear about the real-life immersive experience of an entire family unit – an experience that is both thrilling and worthwhile. Our members are in for a treat, with a keynote talk that is sure to stay in their minds long after.


– – –


AITO’s overseas conference aims to bring inspiring speakers to delegates and to spark important conversations amongst travel industry specialists about current issues and opportunities.

Between the talks and business sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to experience the very best of Ras Al Khaimah, including the opportunity to fly the longest zipline in the world (2.83 km in length), to go kayaking on the inland waterways, to try dune bashing in the desert, to spot wildlife at the Al Wadi Nature Reserve or simply soak up the sights of the old town.