When booking a holiday, over a third of people do not know how they are financially protected, according to a recent survey by independent travel company Travel Counsellors.
The poll, which questioned 2,000 UK residents on their opinions and knowledge of financial protection in travel, was commissioned following the recent collapse of LowCostHolidays, which in many cases left thousands of customers un-protected, losing their money and having to find new holidays, particularly those who had booked directly on the internet and had no agent available to give them help or advice.
Steve Byrne, managing director of Travel Counsellors commented: “Clearly this raises issues of trust and protection for holidaymakers when booking their trip. It is crucial for travel companies to be transparent, in order to ensure that every traveller has peace of mind and knows exactly how their holiday is protected, whilst feeling assured that someone is there for them should anything happen.”
The research found that 57% of people claim financial protection is extremely important when booking their holiday, but only 16% say that they are extremely clear on how they are covered. 50% of respondents believed the ABTA logo means their holiday is completely covered, whilst a further 39% were not sure. 41% of Brits are also unsure of what the ATOL scheme is or how they are protected through this.
Byrne added: “It is clear that many Brits are unaware of how – or even if – they are covered. While ATOL and ABTA offer financial protection, this doesn’t always extend to every element of your trip, and people are often misled into thinking that if they see something such as the ABTA logo they are automatically protected, which isn’t always the case.”
The significance of care – both during the booking process and throughout their trip – was also highlighted, with 40% of those surveyed saying they feel it is extremely important to have a travel professional on hand to help, should a problem occur whilst they are on holiday.
Byrne said: “It’s all about putting the customer first and as such financial protection has always been a top priority for us, which is why we established our independent financial trust in 2004. And we feel every travel provider should offer this level of protection to their customers. Ultimately travellers need to know what is right for them; where is safe to travel; and be reassured that someone who genuinely cares will be there for them every step of the way.”