Online package holidays get better protection

Half of holidays not covered

Travellers booking package holidays online will receive better protection if a holiday company goes bust, under new government proposals.

The proposals announced today said enhanced regulations, which are due to take effect in July 2018, will protect an extra 10 million UK package holidays booked online.

Launching the proposals consumer minister Margot James said: “While consumer laws protect millions of holidaymakers from the fallout if a travel company goes into administration, the way we book holidays has changed significantly in recent years and it is important that regulations are updated to reflect this.

“On average UK households put aside £100 every month for their holidays. The proposals outlined in this consultation will ensure that an extra 22 per cent  of holidays can be booked online with holidaymakers safe in the knowledge that they will get their hard-earned money back if something does go wrong.”

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said that changes to how we book travel, such as using online booking sites, has created a gap in consumer rights.

ABTA said half of holiday arrangements are not currently financially protected if a company ceases trading. The industry body said it hopes changes will provide clearer and stronger protections for holidaymakers, ensuring people who book holidays online enjoy the same rights as those who book with a traditional travel agent.

The proposals are calling for an extension to current protections to cover the millions of UK holidaymakers who buy package holidays online, better information to be provided to travellers at the point of booking and making it clear what their rights to refund are

ensuring the business that puts the package together is responsible for the entire holiday.

The Government is encouraging travel agents, booking sites, trade associations and consumer groups to respond to the consultation, which runs for six weeks.

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