Travel industry debates ATOL publicity plans

Leading trade representatives are in talks with the Government and Civil Aviation Authority on a consumer campaign to publicise the financial protection offered by ATOL-covered holidays.

The CAA consumer protection group has committed itself to supporting such a campaign, believing it would boost the sales of protected holidays.

The failure of Travelscope before Christmas highlighted the advantages, with all its customers covered by the company’s ATOL bond. Tour operators baulk at highlighting the risk to consumers of a travel company failure.

Federation of Tour Operators director-general Andy Cooper confirmed: “We are in debate with the CAA and the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on this. It would be good for the Government to make the point to consumers and we would work with that. But individual operators would be reluctant to do it.”

The CAA had hoped for a campaign to coincide with the end of the old bonding regime on April 1 and switch to a £1 ATOL Protection Contribution levied on holidays.

A CAA spokesman said: “There is a desire to have a campaign when what is a package is clarified.”

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