The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) has backed ABTA’s plan to change consumer protection rules.

AITO chairman Derek Moore said a review of the association’s regulations would help the industry if it led to the introduction of higher levels of consumer protection. He made the remarks following ABTA’s announcement last week that it could change regulations to ensure bed banks still have to honour bookings following an ABTA agency failure, even if it has not been paid.

Moore said: “It can only be good for the industry as a whole, and for consumers, if ABTA reverts to its previous, much higher, levels of consumer protection. At present, there is confusion among everyone about what is and what is not covered, which can lead to a mistrust of travel organisations.

“ABTA is the largest travel industry association, representing much of the mass tourism market, and it is important to all of us that it adopts the highest possible standards for its members and that it protects the millions of consumers that still believe ABTA to be a force for good.”