Abta urges members to act now on package proposals

Abta urges members to act now on package proposals

Abta is urging members to act in the next week to aid its response to European plans to reform the package travel rules.

The association is hosting member workshops around the country this week and next on European Commission proposals to revise the Package Travel Directive (PTD).

Abta issued a questionnaire on the directive at the end of July and will post an online video giving an overview of the reforms this week for members who cannot attend the events.

The workshops began last week, in Belfast and London, less than a month after the proposals were published because the timetable is so tight.

The new directive proposes redefining most bookings now considered ‘Flight-Plus’ in the UK as “customised packages” – meaning an extension of tour operator liabilities to Atol-holding agents.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said the workshops had highlighted concerns among members.

Writing for today’s Travel Weekly Business:am, Tanzer said: “It’s by no means ideal that we’re having to conduct this process during the holiday season.

“But we need to ensure by September that we’re in a position to go back with a robust response to policy-makers in Brussels.”

Tanzer said: “The revisions on the whole look sensible.”

However, members have raised concerns about how new the Assisted Travel

Arrangements would differ from Flight-Plus, the proposals for exempting business travel and responsibility for assisting clients in the event of another volcanic ash cloud.

Abta is also formulating a response to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Call for Evidence on reform of Atol funding.

The deadline for the Call for Evidence is next Thursday, August 15.

Abta plans four further workshops in advance of that deadline: in Bristol on August 7, Manchester on August 8, Glasgow on August 12 and London on August 14.

Full details at http://abta.com/news-and-views/policy-zone/more/package-travel-directive-and-regulations



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