Published on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Agents and operators urged to take a closer look at ATOL reforms

ABTA is to hold a special conference call with members next Tuesday (March 13) to help them understand the intricacies of the draft ATOL Regulations.

It is also launching a consultation with members to get their views and insights for an industry-wide response to the reforms. The deadline is March 16.

ABTA is concerned that some of the proposals go beyond what is required in the Package Travel Directive.

"The travel industry would be forgiven for thinking that the content of the draft ATOL Regulations and standard terms are only to support the UK's implementation of the Package Travel Directive. But, having read all of the documents in detail, that is clearly not the case," said director of legal affairs Simon Bunce.

"Some of the proposals go beyond what is required for the successful implementation of PTD. So it is important travel companies are aware of the suggested changes, the impact it could have on their businesses - and that they take the opportunity to provide their feedback through the consultation process."

Examples of proposals which go further than members might expect include the information provided to consumers before and after sale on ATOL protection, along with plans to require small business holders to report quarterly, rather than annually.

"We encourage ABTA Members to share their feedback with us as part of our own consultation process," continued Bunce.

"ABTA will also be making the point to the CAA and DfT that any additional changes to regulations or standard terms, which don't relate to the PTD, shouldn't be pushed through on the same tight timescale, and that some elements may require further consultation, particularly where the current consultation contains only proposals and no firm drafting that can be properly assessed."

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