On 10 and 11 May, around 120 delegates gathered at a key event in the travel industry calendar – The ABTA Travel Law Seminar, which in this, its 18th year, was kindly sponsored by NatWest.
2016 is another busy year for regulatory and legal change – with the Package Travel Directive and Consumer Rights Act promising to transform the travel landscape. This made for some really interesting sessions throughout the two day seminar.
Delegates were welcomed on Tuesday morning by Simon Bunce, ABTA’s Director of Legal Affairs, who opened the seminar and introduced the focus for the morning sessions – Package Travel and financial protection. Speakers discussed how companies should get ready for the upcoming changes whilst addressing some key questions currently circulating within the industry. To draw the morning to a close, a panel of experts pulled together everything that had been discussed and took some audience questions.
Stepping away from Package Travel and financial protection, the afternoon sessions looked at identifying and managing business risks in order to protect your business. Speakers discussed the very topical Cyber Crime and Fraud and then the audience heard about possible changes to the FCO travel advice which, as expected, prompted a number of questions from the room. Day one concluded with a regulatory round-up of the last 12 months and an online selling and marketing session.
Day one was a great success and after taking in all the information, it was time to head to the networking drinks reception, sponsored by White Hart Associates, where the discussions from the day continued.
The morning of day two saw the focus change to consumer rights and claims, where speakers looked at what’s new in the Consumer Rights Act, what needs to be updated in company terms and conditions and how to deal with customer claims. Delegates were then given the, always useful, employment law update and the morning was brought to a close with a consumer regulatory round-up.
The final topic for the day was customer safety – risk and due diligence where questions such as, ‘What could go wrong?’ ‘Who’s going to be sued?’ and ‘How can you manage your risk?’ were explained.
As is tradition, the Seminar came to a close with an entertaining review of travel cases that have been through the courts in the last year.
Overall the event provided a wealth of information and hopefully delegates left the two days feeling more knowledgeable, with good practices to take back to their organisations.