85% of Irish holidaymakers are financially unprotected

ITAA launch campaign to highlight the importance of financial protection for holidaymakers

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) today launched a new campaign to highlight the fact that 85% of consumers are financially unprotected when they travel. The ITAA represents over 140 travel agencies nationwide, all of which are licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation and offer financial protection for their customers.

Cormac Meehan, President of the ITAA, said “Your holiday time is precious so ensure you make the most of it by booking it with a member of the ITAA. All ITAA travel agent members are licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation and are fully bonded to provide full financial protection for their customers, and to give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your holiday.”

Following a record number of airline failures in 2017, the ITAA is also campaigning for all other Irish travel providers to be bonded by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) to ensure that passengers are financially protected from future failures.

Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA, commented “As airlines are among the largest travel providers in the EU, we believe it is necessary that they, along will all other travel providers, be bonded in order to protect consumers. As it stands, 85% of travelling public remain unprotected by outdated bonding legislation. We have contacted the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport many times about this issue as it will be the Irish taxpayer who will have to pay if there was to be another travel provider collapse in Ireland.  We are now working closely with the European Travel Agent’s and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) to try and reform the legislation at EU level.”

The ITAA has repeatedly called on the government to review the legislation around bonding among travel providers in Ireland. Following the collapse of Lowcostholidays in 2016, almost 4,200 Irish customers made claims to the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) amounting to €3.8m.These claims depleted the Travellers’ Protection Fund, which is made up of contributions from tour operators and administered by the commission, by 75%  as Lowcostholidays’ bonding level was underprovided.