The government is to introduce a Travel Protection Bill in a bid to improve protection for holidaymakers by updating the UK’s financial protection scheme for holidays.
The aim is to ensure that Atol protection for travellers keeps pace with “innovation in the online travel market”.
The Bill, announced as part of the Queen’s Speech at the opening of Parliament, calls for “appropriate protection” to be in place regardless of whether consumers buy online or on the high street.
It also wants to make it easier for UK companies when selling holidays across Europe, as they will be able to trade under the Atol scheme rather than the regimes in each country they sell to.
The main elements of the Bill include updating the Atol scheme to align it with enhancements to the EU and UK package travel regulations that predate people booking holidays on the internet.
The measures would enable the Atol scheme to cover digital business models and modern consumer purchasing behaviour and align protection with that offered across Europe to allow established UK companies to sell more easily across borders.
The Bill follows Abta research which found that more than three quarters of UK consumers booked their holiday online last year.