This week ABTA launched a campaign calling on Government to do whatever it takes to protect travel industry jobs and customer money

The association said despite calling for urgent Government intervention, especially regarding refunds, it is still waiting for action. It’s now asking individuals to visit www.savefuturetravel.co.uk and email their local MP to highlight pleas on behalf of the industry.  

The campaign calls for:

1. Temporary changes to the Package Travel Regulations

Under the existing regulations, tour operators have 14 days, from cancellation, to issue a full cash refund to customers. But ABTA wants this to be amended for companies to be able to offer refund credit notes as a short-term alternative to cash refunds to give businesses some breathing space. 

The association states: “While this will involve a delay for consumers in receiving their money, or booking a replacement holiday arrangement, the alternative is mass travel company failures. That outcome would mean customers waiting longer to receive their money, and would also result in a far worse financial outcome for the Government, which acts as the financial guarantor of the UK’s holiday-based financial protection scheme.” 

Many tour operators have been informing customers that, rather than them having the cash to be able to issue a refund – when a package is booked, payment is made to the other suppliers including airlines and hotels well in advance, and so they then have to recover these funds. 

2. Financial liquidity and employment support

ABTA wants ministers to ensure that no travel business, of any size, is left to fall through the cracks when it comes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and for Government-backed loans. 

3. Appropriate responses by credit card and other financial payments companies

The association wants officials to examine the operations of banks and credit card companies to ensure a proportionate response is being adopted by other actors in the financial protection environment.

To show your support for the campaign head over to: www.savefuturetravel.co.uk