After working with Members to explore views on the future working of ATOL, and specifically the detail on changes proposed by the CAA, ABTA was able to send a detailed response on ‘Rebalancing ATOL: Consultation on proposals to ensure a fair and proportionate financial protection scheme’ this week. Our key message to the CAA is that they should pause the reform process until a final Package Travel Directive is delivered next year and until the Department for Transport also completes its own review of the scheme. As it stands, just one of the proposed changes, the abolition of the Small Business ATOL, would affect over half of all ATOL holders, over 940 businesses. Avoiding multiple changes is an important argument for what we feel is the correct ‘order’ for reform. We also took the opportunity to raise the important point that changes should take shape in a way that does not act as a barrier to micro businesses and SMEs but provides a fair and proportionate approach that is suitable for all business models. You can read our response in our statement, which also looks at new financial criteria and ATOL accounting practices. Thank you all for what has been a very healthy level of responses, both in number and in detail. We will continue our conversations and keep you all informed.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive