THE proposal to scrap tour operator ATOL bonds has been
hailed as a victory for common sense by the travel
trade.

It has emerged that part of the regulatory impact assessment
currently with the Department for Transport contains a
recommendation to ditch the costly bonds.

The move will put an end to claims the travel industry operates
on an unlevel playing field, following the growth of low-cost
airlines and seat-only sales that operate outside of bonding
regulations.

The current ATOL scheme will be replaced with a £1 levy per
passenger which will build up a fund to protect consumers in the
event of a failure. An interim fund set up by the Government will
operate while the levy funds build up.

Federation of Tour Operators director-general Andy Cooper said
the FTO is in favour of the proposed changes.

“It’s by no means a done deal, but we strongly
support the proposals. It’s a triumph for common sense and
recognises the change in the marketplace,” he said.

The whole process is expected to take 12 to 18 months.

________________

To comment on this article, click here