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Holidaymakers to be better protected when booking online

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Half of all holidays aren’t financially protected if a company fails so the government has announced new laws to cover millions of bookings.

More than four fifths of Brits (83%) booked a holiday online in 2017, up from the 76% recorded in 2016.

But the rise in online holiday bookings has created a gap in consumer protection, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

As a result, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will implement laws to better protect millions of Brits who book holidays online, helping to close the “protection gap”.

From 1 July 2018, holidaymakers will need to receive better information at the point of booking, including on what travel product they’re buying and the corresponding level of protection. Consumers will also need to receive clear information on what their refund rights are.

BEIS also wants to ensure businesses that puts together package holidays are responsible for the entire holiday, even if some elements will be fulfilled by other companies.

It said the new rules will “provide clarity to businesses”, and “increase fairness in the travel industry” so that online outlets are responsible for consumer protections in the same way as traditional travel agents.

Consumer Minister, Andrew Griffiths, said: “When we book a package holiday we expect it all to go according to plan, but if a company goes bust it can ruin more than just the holiday, leaving people out of pocket or even stranded.

“These new rules mean that internet explorers can book their holidays online, secure in the knowledge they will be compensated in the same way as someone who booked their holidays through a travel agent if something does go wrong.”

Related: See’s Flight delays: are you due compensation? for more information.

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