Aito members urged to speak out over package law changes

Aito members urged to speak out over package law changes

Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito) agents were urged to get their concerns heard over the future of package law during a consultation period later the year.

Industry regulator Andy Cohen, head of Atol at the Civil Aviation Authority, encouraged Aito members to speak up about any concerns because the changes would result in them having to “take on a lot more responsibility”.

Cohen said Aito had a lot of clout in parliament because it was a respected association, despite being a relatively small group of agents. He went on to describe the group as “small but very powerful”.

Cohen said: “We need to see you being involved and participating actively in the consultation, which is going to come out towards the end of this year on how we implement these changes.”

His comments at the Aito overseas conference came as a number of agents highlighted the changes to the Package Travel Directive as being their biggest concern for the years ahead.

Cohen added: “The Europeans have reviewed the Package Travel Directive and have now completed their work. We expect to see the formal draft in the next few week.

“That is going to change everything you do in terms of financial protection and also the scope of who is caught by that financial protection.

“If anyone operates the Flight-Plus model – where you sell a holiday but without the responsibility of the health and safety aspects – those are likely to become packages and that means you take on a lot of extra responsibilities.

“Some people will say that’s too much responsibility and we might see people move back to the traditional tour operator and agency model, and that would be interesting.”


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