The changes to the Package Travel Regulations will see more travel arrangements becoming packages from July 1, meaning these types of holidays will benefit from both financial and legal protection.

Under existing travel regulations, around half of UK holiday travel arrangements - 20 million packages and three million flight-plus holidays, are financially protected. From July 1, flight-plus arrangements will no longer exist and many will become packages.

ABTA's chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “We are still waiting for the Government to publish the Regulations that will take effect from July 1. The recent announcement sets out the Government’s expected approach which will result in more holiday travel arrangements being classified as packages meaning greater protection for these types of holiday.

"We still need the detail of the final regulations and we will be working hard to make sure members understand what the final regulations mean for their businesses and the steps they need to take through updated guidance notes and webinars.

“Under existing travel regulations, around half of UK holiday travel arrangements – packages and flight-plus holidays - are financially protected. From July 1 flight-plus arrangements will no longer exist and many will become packages, so while the number of holidays protected might not necessarily increase – the level of protection will, as they will also be required to have legal protection.

“Once published, the timescale is very tight for UK businesses to understand these regulations and to make necessary changes by July 1. We are helping members to understand their legal responsibilities and support them in making any necessary changes. Consumers not booking with an ABTA member will have to rely on UK Trading Standards if they are concerned a company they are dealing with is not providing the correct protection for travel arrangements.”

The association will be running an event - ‘the New Package Travel Regulations for Travel Agencies’ - on May 1 to help agents understand what the regulations mean for their business, the steps they need to take and how their liabilities will change.

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