Agent lobby group reserves judgement on package travel reform

Agent lobby group reserves judgement on package travel reform

The Association of Travel Agents (ATA) reserved judgment on the proposed reform of the European Package Travel Directive as it seeks legal advice.

Responding to Tuesday’s publication by the European Commission of its proposals, Greg Mould, ATA chief executive, said there were aspects about which it wanted clarity.

“We are still unclear about how we are allowed to act as an agent,” he said. “Clearly there’s a lot of detail and that needs to be fleshed out. We are passing it on to our legal advisers to obtain a clear view.”

The ATA, which includes the bosses of On Holiday Group, Lowcost Travel Group and Hays Travel among its founding members, is next due to meet in September, although it may bring that forward to discuss the proposals.

Nick James, director of Atol adviser the Air Travel Consultancy (ATC), said: “It looks like this is about a lot of catching up with how the industry has developed.

“Whether there’s anything in there that’s particularly innovative, I don’t know.”

James said the proposal for member states’ insolvency rules to be recognised across Europe was good news for the many ATC customers looking to expand overseas.

“There is a significant minority of clients looking for additional ways to grow, but they have the issue of how to comply [with the rules].”

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