People have been travelling the world for centuries. For business and pleasure, alone or in groups. As an entire industry evolved to cater for their needs, it is little wonder that the businesses concerned began to feel the need to unite in support of their common interests. The result of that drive for solidarity in the Netherlands is the ANVR, the Dutch Association of Travel Agents an Tour Operators. An representative body for the travel industry, not a consumer group.
The declared aim of the ANVR is "to combine the strength of its members in pursuit of their common social and economic interests, so that the organization can play a prominent national and international role as the representative of the Dutch travel industry".
It is the members who shape ANVR policy. The association's governing body is the General Assembly of Members. Day-to-day management is in the hands of an Executive Committee containing representatives from all branches of the industry: travel agents, air ticketing agents and tour operators. It is supported by a professional staff. Meanwhile, many members are themselves active participants in consultative, project and working groups which advise the Executive Committee.
The ANVR has a very wide range of activities and interests, which are organized into a series of core "clusters": Image & Lobbying, Consumer Affairs, Aviation, Employment & Education Affairs and Standardization. There are also separate forums for the Retail and Tour Operating sectors.
17 February 1966. The ANVR is founded under its original name, the Dutch Association of Travel Agents (Algemene Nederlandse Vereniging van Reisbureaus).
1971. The ANVR becomes the first organization in the world to set up a guarantee fund to protect consumer payments for travel products purchased through its members.
1972. An independent Travel Disputes Committee is founded to settle conflicts between consumers and ANVR members.
1982. The ANVR compiles a set of consumer-friendly terms and conditions of travel for use by all its affiliated tour operators. These clarify the rights and obligations of both operator and traveller.
1983. The ANVR Guarantee Fund becomes the independent Travel Refund Guarantee Fund (SGR), which all ANVR members are required to join. The SGR protects all advance payments made by holidaymakers, apart from flight-only tickets and indirect purchases such as car hire.
1989. The ANVR becomes a federation with four member associations and is renamed the Dutch Federation of Travel Organizations (Algemeen Nederlands Verbond van Reisondernemingen). The four member groups are the Association of ANVR Tour Operators, the Association of ANVR Travel Agents, the Association of ANVR Air Ticketing and Business Travel Agencies and the Association of ANVR Inbound Tour Operators (the last of these was disbanded in 2003). Each association has its own executive, which actively monitors its particular sector and represents its own members, and each is represented on the Federation Council.
1994. The ANVR becomes an officially recognized employers' organization.
1995. The ANVR becomes the first travel industry organization in the world to develop a sustainable tourism policy for its members.
1997. To complement its terms and conditions of travel, the ANVR compiles consumer-friendly booking conditions in collaboration with the Dutch Consumers' Association for use by all its travel-agent members.
2000. The independent Emergency Fund for Travellers (Stichting Calamiteitenfonds Reizen, SCR) is founded and all ANVR members are required to join. The purpose of this fund is to assist travellers who are unable to continue a journey they are on due to a disaster or emergency.
2006. The ANVR celebrates its 40th anniversary.
2007. Ongoing developments in the travel industry - not least the rise of the internet - and changing market relationships prompt the ANVR to reorganize its core tasks. The federation and its three member associations are merged to create one new body: the Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (Algemene Nederlandse Vereniging van Reisondernemingen).