Travo@10: Regulations are easing for new firms, says SME investor

Travo@10: Regulations are easing for new firms, says SME investor

Lee Hayhurst reports from the Travo@10 Start-up summit in London, sponsored by Travelport and Cheapflights and hosted at at News UK’s new offices.

View our gallery of the event here

Regulators’ more permissive approach is making it easier to set up travel businesses, the summit was told.

Stone Ventures chief executive Stewart Baird said it was “our job as investors” to “unlock the energy and passion and don’t let things like Atol or management accounts get in the way”.

“That stuff should happen on the side and investors should take that away so you can get on and build a brand and build a business.

“The regulator can make barriers to entry quite hard, but trust funds and insurance-backed schemes mean it’s become easier to open travel businesses.”

Much Better Adventures’ Sam Bruce said his firm was coming up against regulation as it grew.

“We are not bonded; we are the market and are connecting people. We say: ‘These are the risks, pay with a credit card, get insurance.’

“If you make it too difficult for small businesses they won’t exist anymore and that’s not good for local economies or travellers. There needs to be a bit of leeway.”

Howzat co-founder Hugo Burge added: “We are fortunate companies like Google and Facebook have created global marketing channels. This is an incredible opportunity to grow businesses. We will look back on this era as one of incredible change and opportunity.”

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