ABTOT launches streamlined bonding service for members
Under the new service, the association will provide financial protection for both licensable and non-licensable travel (flight-inclusive and non-flight travel).
It has been providing travel organisers a way to comply with their non-licensable obligations under the 1992 Package Travel Regulations (PTRs) since 1993.
Now holding an ATOL franchise granted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), ABTOT offers total protection via a combined ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) and bonding scheme, allowing organisers to be fully compliant via a single trade body.
The new ABTOT Combined facility simplifies financial protection for members, covering their total turnover through one application and via one association.
The current complexity surrounding financial protection in the UK travel industry may increase with the implementation of the Package Travel Directive in 2018 and ABTOT says it can help prepare members, in so far as they are affected by the new regulations when they are unveiled.
Paul Fakley, development director of ABTOT said: “Changes to the PTRs are anticipated for January 2018 and unfortunately they won‘t resolve one of the main hurdles that currently exists with two parallel sides to consumer financial protection within the travel industry. It’s our mission to simplify and streamline the financial protection process for our members as much as possible. As an ATOL Franchisee we’re now able to guarantee one application and one point of contact, providing an all-in-one bonding approach that small and medium sized travel organisers have been waiting for. To help in this process we have also bolstered the ABTOT team with 2 new appointments. Samantha Bradbury is the new Membership Secretary and Natalie Black is now Development Manager.”
ABTOT is also launching a low-cost, card payment facility to all members. It will take on some of the responsibilities of the merchant acquirer, ensuring all claims will be met by the association in case of a member’s collapse or failure.
Fakley continued: “We’re evolving and responding to market changes just as our members have to. This is the first time a travel trade association has launched two high profile facilities at once and we’re delighted to be able to remove duplication and save our members time and money.”