The UK Government has announced a range of new consumer protection measures designed to protect an additional 10 million holidays a year. These new measures have been deemed necessary by the huge shift in buying habits by the British public with 83% now booking online rather than via other routes to market such as the traditional travel agents shop.
The government estimates that 50% of holidays now booked are not protected if the company fails.
The new Package Travel Directive is designed to ensure that those booking online are afforded the same level of protection as those who book through travel agents.
The new measure will;
- ensure people who book holidays online through travel sites enjoy the same rights as those who book with a traditional travel agent
- broaden the definition of package holidays to capture modern booking models such as online and via mobile
- require that travel providers and operators provide better information to travellers, making it clear what their rights to refund are
- make online sites which enable consumers to put travel packages together responsible for the entire holiday, even if services are performed by third parties
Business Minister and MP for Burton, Andrew Griffiths said;
Britain is a nation of travellers and we each put aside around £23.10 per week to go towards package holidays. Given that commitment, when we are booking holidays it is reasonable for all of us to expect that if something goes wrong we are protected financially.
The measures that come into effect today will ensure holidaymakers are properly compensated if things do go wrong, removing the risks for consumers and building on our long, proud history of high standards when it comes to travel protections.