3rd October 2012
Consumer choice will be reduced if OTA’s don’t fight ‘Eurocrats’
Alpharooms.com will be supporting the call to fight against the proposed changes to the European Package Travel Directive (PTD).
Agents selling “flight plus” under the current ATOL guidelines are already financially protecting their customers by ensuring they are either refunded if a supplier fails before they travel, or get back to the UK if a supplier fails whilst they are abroad.
The Brussels plans to revise the PTD will make all “flight plus” bookings packages and therefore everyone selling them will become a tour operator. This will effectively outlaw the online travel agency model and make agents assume liability for the airline and hotel products they sell.
Geoff Wood, Operations Director at alpharooms.com said: “To manage this liability, agents will need to reduce the range of products they continue to sell. Consumer choice will therefore reduce while prices will increase.
To move forward with what Brussels is proposing would mean ignoring the trends in travel purchasing over recent decades. It is more likely that consumers will choose lower prices and buy each element of their holiday from different suppliers. By doing this they will lose the financial protection they currently have.
We need ABTA to champion our cause. If it proves difficult for ABTA to provide effective leadership on this issue due to the conflicting interests of their agent and tour operating constituents then we will need to move quickly to establish an alternative, agent focused, lobby.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Sheffield local, Jason Fry, started the company 13 years ago and currently has over 100 employees and continue to grow with the competitive travel industry.
What we do
Our holiday site offers customers the choice of over 200,000 hotel and apartments worldwide, flights, holidays and a whole host of holiday extras. To give alpharooms.com customers peace of mind we have a UK – based call center which is open 7 days a week and we are registered with ATOL and ABTA. Our international sister site, Vacenza.com, has recently launched and is already making steady in-roads into demanding global markets.