In recent years there has been a drastic change in the way consumers book holidays. More than three quarters of UK consumers now book their trips online and the majority of these are booked in segments. However, online bookings do not currently have the same levels of protection as those that are booked on the high street.
This has inspired a new set of Package Travel Regulations which have been proposed in Parliament this week. The new rules will ensure the same financial security for those who book online as the consumers who choose to book on the high street. The Government have said that new regulations will ensure that passengers who have booked flights, car hires or accommodation independently will by protected by ATOL.
ATOL – Air Travel Organiser’s License
ATOL has been protecting holidaymakers since 1973. It is compulsory that every every UK travel company that provides air holidays and flights hold an ATOL. In the event of a travel company collapsing, ATOL ensures that the consumer does not lose the money they have paid out and prevents them from being stranded abroad. It is designed to reassure consumers that their money is safe in the circumstance of travel company failure.
“While consumer laws protect millions of holidaymakers from the fallout if a travel company goes into administration, the way we book holidays has changed significantly in recent years and it is important that regulations are updated to reflect this.” – Margot James, consumer minister.
These new rules are set to come into action as of next July and the Government estimates it will protect an extra 10 million people a year.