12 Dec

ABTA unveils guidance on financial protection requirements

Guidance saves ABTA Members money and helps them stay within the law

With significant regulatory changes in 2012 to the ATOL scheme of financial protection, affecting the way ABTA Members run their businesses, ABTA has comprehensively updated key guidance documents for Members. Exclusively available to ABTA Members, the updated guidance provides travel companies with all they need to know to comply with the changes in the law, saving them money in legal fees as well as helping avoid the risk of prosecution.

ABTA’s Business Support Manual covers core issues such as how financial protection works; the new wording Members need for their brochures and websites and how to issue correct receipts, confirmations and ATOL Certificates.

The ABTA Code of Conduct has also been updated to make it mandatory for Members to have properly worded agency agreements in place. To make it simple for ABTA Members to ensure they have correctly worded agreements, ABTA has produced a model agency agreement which satisfies all of the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority. Not having a properly worded agreement in place has potentially very serious implications as members of the public would not be able to claim from the CAA if an ATOL holder failed and they would be referred to their retailer for a refund.

To further help Members comply with the regulatory changes, ABTA has also produced model booking conditions that incorporate a correctly worded statement about financial protection and model agency terms of business.

Simon Bunce, Head of Member and Legal Services, ABTA said: “With the CAA now cracking down on companies that are not following the new ATOL regulations, it is incredibly important that Members get the whole process of incorporating the reforms into their working practices right. If they do not, they could be breaking the law. We are continuing to do all we can to help guide our Members through the changes and if Members follow the guidance in our Business Support Manual as well as using our model agency agreements, booking conditions and agency terms of business, both they and their customers will benefit.”

The ABTA Business Support Manual and model agreements are all available exclusively to ABTA Members on the Members’ section of www.abta.com