New financial protection for holidaymakers

New financial protection for holidaymakers

New measures to protect holidaymakers have been introduced by the Government this month.

In its latest announcement, the Government said it will introduce new consumer protections that will protect an additional 10 million package holidays a year and save consumers tens of millions of pounds in the process.

The measures are in response to changing consumer habits. For example, the latest figures suggest that 83 per cent of us booked a holiday online in 2017, compared to 76 per cent in 2016.

But the rise in online bookings has led to a flurry of claims from disgruntled holidaymakers who were not afforded the same consumer rights they would have received if they had booked through a certified high street provider.

In fact, the Government estimates that 50 per cent of all holidays are not currently financially protected if a company fails.

The latest round of protections, known as the Package Travel Directive, look to close loopholes and protect more types of holidays. These 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 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.”