New rules to safeguard tourists

13 February 2012 09:44

Up to six million more holidays are set to come under the protection of new rules in the event of tour operators going bust

Up to six million more holidays are set to come under the protection of new rules in the event of tour operators going bust

Up to six million more holidays per year are set to be protected from tour operators going under thanks to new Government measures - although the moves will in no way replace the need for travel insurance .

This will include "flight-plus" holidays, which appear the same as normal package holidays but go without the protection under the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing scheme (Atol). Although this scheme does help get you back home should a tour operator collapse, it won't cover things like loss or damage to property, or medical problems encountered overseas.

The Atol scheme - under the control of the Civil Aviation Authority - is designed to help fly holidaymakers back home after the tour operator goes bust, to stop them being stranded abroad.

The Civil Aviation Bill currently going through parliament could lead to even more changes on top of the ones due to come in at the end of April.

Martin Rothwell, Managing Partner, Rothwell & Towler, said: "It's extremely important for holidaymakers to understand the consumer protection they may or may not receive when booking their holidays. The new measures are long overdue but it remains essential that travellers still seek additional protection if they are independently booking other facets of their trip from multiple suppliers.

"Regardless of the changes, it also remains just as important for travellers to ensure they have holiday or travel insurance that adequately covers their trip against cancellation and themselves for medical expenses and repatriation should the worse happen while away from home."

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