Travel News » September 2009 » UK travel industry calls urgent meeting to strengthen consumer protection

UK travel industry calls urgent meeting to strengthen consumer protection


ABTA will hold a special General Meeting next month to consider ways to give holidaymakers more financial protection. It's concerned that customers who didn't have travel insurance might have been hard hit by recent travel agency failures.

Travel insurance will refund clients when a travel agency collapses after taking their cash, but ABTA has acknowledged the travel industry itself should be providing its customers with greater peace of mind.

This year has seen a large number of consumers affected when travel agents have failed and the suppliers of accommodation have refused to fulfil bookings that they have not been paid for.

While clients with comprehensive travel insurance have been able to claim refunds, those without travel insurance have been left not knowing how to get their money back.

This has resulted in very damaging press coverage for the industry as a whole, said ABTA.

Members of the Association will be asked to vote for a change in the rules that would make all travel agency members responsible for money paid by their customers to companies through whom they distribute their travel services.

Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said: This is an important point of principle and the change will bring clarity to Members and customers alike.

""These are challenging times and it has never been more important for consumers to have confidence in the travel companies they choose.""

ABTA is also planning to tighten criteria for membership and more closely scrutinise businesses which should lead to fewer travel agency failures and fewer travel insurance claims.

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