Travel Counsellors founder and chairman David Speakman is claiming a victory against adversary Abta over the issue of consumer protection.

This came as the Civil Aviation Authority and the Office of Fair Trading warned that travel companies must provide consumers with “clear, transparent and timely information” when advertising and selling flights and holidays.

The new guidance is aimed at airlines, price comparison websites, travel agents and tour operators.

It is designed to make sure the travel industry is fully aware of its responsibilities under existing consumer legislation.

Publication of the guidance follows a 10-week consultation, which gave the travel industry the opportunity to feed in views on the issues covered in the document.

Speakman said: “We reported Abta to the OFT  in December 2012, for misleading customers on financial protection and its unwillingness to hold its members to account who advertised that they were ‘fully bonded’ in their advertising or documentation.

“In addition Travel Counsellors threatened to report Abta’s recent ‘Why book with an Abta member’ campaign to the OFT that could have misled customers to believing they were financially protected when they were not.

“We are very pleased that the OFT and the CAA have warned the trade about misleading customers and we feel by doing this our concerns have finally been recognised.

“All we have as an industry is the trust of our customers and this should never be taken for granted. In a bid to make financial protection as clear as possible for consumers, Travel Counsellors has designed an easy to understand guide, which we make readily available for consumers on our website.”

 No-one from Abta was available to comment early this morning.