ABTA is today releasing analysis of the submissions of the major travel players who have submitted to the Government’s ATOL consultation showing that there is a common stance on the industry’s key issues.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “It is clear from industry submissions that the travel sector wants airlines in and business travel out.”
“There is considerable agreement that the ATOL reforms need to be updated but that the reforms, as proposed, do not necessarily deliver on that intention. ABTA has called for an extension of consumer protection for many years and although we are pleased that the Government is taking action on ATOL reform we have serious concerns that if not modified the proposals may reduce consumer protection and damage travel businesses.”
John McEwan, CEO of Advantage and ABTA’s Chairman agreed adding: “ATOL reform will only be successful if airlines are brought into the scheme of protection. I’m pleased that there is also support from trade bodies like the GTMC for ABTA’s proposals to exclude business travel arrangements from the ATOL scheme.”
ABTA’s research compares the positions of the AAC, Advantage, ATIPAC, GTMC and the SPAA alongside its own submission and notes that there is broad agreement in many of areas. The travel bodies agree on:
• Including airlines in the ATOL scheme
• Business travel should be exempted
• Closing the loophole on agent for the consumer sales
• Noting that microbusinesses should not be excluded
• Broadly supportive of proposals for ATOL certificates and Agency Agreements but all share concerns about implementation
• Believe a 1 January deadline for implementation is unrealistic.
The Department for Transport’s consultation on reforming the ATOL scheme closed last week and the Government is expected to report back on its views in October.