A crucial debate on the future of holiday consumer protection is being sponsored by Abta in Brussels next week.

The event on December 4 will be hosted by MEP Malcolm Harbour, chair of the Parliament’s internal market and consumer protection committee, and Brian Simpson MEP, chair of the transport and tourism committee, seen as two of the most influential committees in the revision of the Package Travel Directive.

Fifty leading stakeholders from across the European travel industry and leading European policymakers will be brought together to discuss how holiday-based consumer protection can be modernised and how the right balance can be struck between business competitiveness and consumer rights.

Delegates will discuss proposed changes to the Package Travel Directive and put forward their views on areas that require greater clarification or revision.

Abta will present the views of its members following an extensive consultation process.

Some of the key issues the association will raise include seeking clarity on the definition of a package and assisted travel arrangements, ensuring the right of agents to remain as agents, and securing a business travel exemption from the directive.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Abta has been leading the debate in Brussels to modernise the Package Travel Directive, and this event is a fantastic opportunity to put forward our members’ views to some of the most influential MEPs taking part in the revision process.

“With some of the leading European travel businesses in attendance, there hasn’t yet been a better arena to discuss and debate the content of the proposed PTD revisions and engage directly with the policymakers. ”

Harbour said: “This long awaited update of the Package Travel Directive needs careful examination by Parliament.

“The input of travel professionals is crucial to ensure that we achieve the right balance, improving consumer protection while ensuring a thriving travel sector offering great value holidays.”

Separately, Abta has also submitted its response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ consultation on the Package Travel Directive, reflecting the views of members from consultation.