ABTA is working on a counter proposal to the rise in the ATOL Protection Contribution that would widen the number of companies paying.
It suggests ATOL cover be required for any sale of a flight plus one or more travel services and proposes the government break the link between the ATOL regulations and the definition of a package holiday under the Package Travel Regulations.
That could broaden the base of companies holding ATOLs and paying APCs without saddling them with VAT payments under the Tour Operator Margin Scheme or the legal liability of being a package organiser as defined by the PTRs.
Federation of Tour Operators director-general and ABTA head of development Andy Cooper said: “Those already paying into the APC can pay more or we can get more people to pay into it. Flight-plus is the obvious solution.”
ABTA head of legal services Simon Bunce said: “We want to bring more sales into regulation. The problem is companies pick up other obligations – tax and liability costs.”
Cooper also argues for bringing non-flight based packages such as cruises into the ATOL scheme, suggesting this would add £300,000 a year in APC payments.
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