Abta has published new research that says it is the UK’s most trusted travel scheme among members of the public.

More than 2,000 people were asked to rank the travel organisations they are most confident in, on a scale of one to four.

Results from the independent research, conducted by Arkenford Ltd,  put Abta in number one spot on 58% of occasions, 12% above the next most trusted organisation, Atol, on 46% and ahead of Trustpilot on 20%.

Three quarters of people (75%) said they feel more confident booking with a travel company that is a member of Abta, the association’s research found, while three in four (74%) said they expect their travel company to be a member of Abta.

It said 62% of respondents think less positively of travel companies who are not members and that 72% of people said they recognise the Abta logo, more than any other travel scheme.

Experts, confidence, reliable, safe, reassuring and quality, were words most associated with Abta, the association said, while financial protection, help and advice in a crisis and Abta’s code of conduct are its services which respondents said they value the most.

Victoria Bacon, Abta director of brand and business development, said: “At a time when consumer trust in business has fallen, consumers remain very confident in Abta and our values as an organisation.

“They trust us above any other travel scheme and feel much more confident when booking with an Abta member. Holidaymakers strongly rate our expertise and see us as reliable and reassuring, which is really important at a time of such uncertainty.

“The Abta badge continues to be an important distinguishing factor when people are looking for a travel company, giving those businesses who are an Abta member a clear competitive advantage over those who aren’t.”

The release of the study’s findings came as The Travel Network Group announced that 34-branch agency Trailfinders has left Abta to join its scheme – The Travel Trust Association (TTA).