Aito confident of restoring protection guarantee

Independent tour operators’ association Aito hopes to restore its promise of 100% financial protection to consumers as soon as possible after withdrawing it on Monday.

The association withdrew the pledge after insurer AmTrust Europe voided a policy on the grounds of a “material non-disclosure” by the company insured – former Aito member Skiing Europe, now under investigation by police and Trading Standards.

Aito believes the insurer’s action on July 1 blew a hole in the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs) which allow insurance against failure as one of several ways for tour operators to protect holidaymakers’ money.

Almost one in six of Aito’s 150 members use insurance to protect clients’ payments. Aito has written to the three insurance companies used by these members to seek written confirmation they will pay out in the event of a failure.

Leading Atio member Noel Josephides, managing director of tour operator Sunvil, said: “Individual Aito members are fully bonded and guaranteed. It is Aito’s over-arching guarantee that has been withdrawn until this is sorted out.”

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