The industry has to rebuild consumer trust following Covid and accept tougher financial assessments by regulators, the Travolution European Summit was told.
Will Plummer, chief executive of financial protection provider Trust My Travel, argued “the industry wasn’t prepared” for Covid and said: “Now we need to rebuild trust. Transparency and trust are key – transparency around terms and conditions and around where money is going.”
Thomas Cook chief executive Alan French agreed, telling the summit: “The customer is starting to get their head around the impact of booking a flight and hotel separately. If the flight is cancelled you won’t get your hotel money back. The EU Package Travel Directive is starting to have an impact across Europe.
“There is a more formal risk assessment of businesses than before and that is happening across Europe. There is going to be more formality around how travel companies are set up, their cash position and ensuring customers are refunded.”
Travelzoo UK general manager James Clarke said a Travelzoo customer survey found 47% of respondents believed travel companies had been damaged by their handling of refunds, with younger adults aged 25-44 more likely to say trust had been damaged.