ABTA has agreed members should be allowed to use trust accounts to protect clients’ money.
However, it said it will require confirmation that any trust arrangements operated by tour operators meet the requirements of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.
It added: “For travel agent members, ABTA will need confirmation that the monies are held in the trust account until released solely on instruction from the principal supplier.”
ABTA won’t manage or provide financial protection for trust accounts and it won’t be responsible for dealing with claims arising from any company failure.
Director of Membership and Financial Protection Rachel Jordan said: “Our recent dialogue with members, including in developing our response to the CAA’s proposals on ATOL reform, shows a strong desire for members to have flexibility in the form of financial protection they choose to use.
“This move allows us to provide that greater flexibility, while continuing high and robust standards for ABTA membership, to the benefit of both our sector and our members’ customers.”
ABTA said it would be ‘opening discussions with potentially-suitable’ trust account providers.
It said the move would help it become more inclusive and give members more financial protection options.