The recent Thomas Cook bankruptcy in the UK sent ripples across the travel industry worldwide. Most mainstream news items focused on the implementation of the UK’s largest peacetime repatriation effort, Operation Matterhorn. But also of utmost importance to the travel industry was the effective operation by the UK Civil Aviation Authority of the largest refund program (estimated to be over £400m) in the history of the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) – a UK financial protection scheme for air package holidays sold by travel businesses.
The unfortunate demise of Thomas Cook has proven that the existence of ATOL and similar schemes worldwide is a benefit for the traveling public, and travel agencies continue to be a safe and reliable sales channel. This and other “hidden” benefits continue to be a key value driver for travel agencies to attract more business.
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