An Amble-based travel expert is urging holidaymakers to check that they are covered in the event that their holiday company goes bust.
The advice comes in the aftermath of the recent collapse of travel firm LowCostHolidays.
The demise of the firm left thousands of customers unprotected, losing their money and having to find new holidays, particularly those who had booked directly on the internet.
When booking a holiday, more than a third of people in the North East do not know how they are financially protected, according to Travel Counsellor Lizzie Adamson-Brown, who runs her own travel business as part of leading independent travel company Travel Counsellors.
“Knowing exactly how you are financially protected when booking your holiday can be a minefield,” said Lizzie.“Quite often travellers presume they are fully covered, only to discover they are not financially protected when something goes wrong and, more often than not, when it is too late.”
Recent research by travel Counsellors found that 53 per cent of people in the North East claim financial protection is extremely important when booking their holiday, but only 16 per cent say that they are extremely clear on how they are covered.
More than half of respondents in the region believed the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) logo means their holiday is completely covered, while a further 33 per cent were not sure.
Thirty-two per cent are also unsure of what protection the ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) offers.
Lizzie added: “While ATOL and ABTA offer financial protection, this doesn’t always extend to every element of your trip, and people are often misled into thinking that if they see something such as the ABTA logo they are automatically protected, which isn’t the case.”
She added: “I am extremely passionate about the level of financial protection I offer to my customers. In 2004, Travel Counsellors introduced a Trust which, alongside the Government’s ATOL regime, provides a unique financial guarantee that covers absolutely everything customers book through me, including hotels, low-cost airlines, scheduled flights and car rental. This means that my customers can rest assured that their money is always safe, no ifs no buts.”