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When it comes to finding your business feet, it’s nice to go at your own pace. If you’re a newly-established travel organiser looking for tour operator protection and you arrange regular or occasional travel, with an annual turnover of less than £150,000, then ABTrust membership could be the best option for you.
ABTrust gives you an alternative financial protection option via a trust account. Think of it as the first step on the regulatory ladder. As your business develops, you will want to consider moving to ABTOT and we can help to make this a seamless process.
ABTrust in action:
PLUS as an ABTrust member, you’ll still get access to all the ABTOT Member Benefits.
What types of companies are accepted for membership into ABTrust?
ABTrust is aimed at smaller tour operators, occasional travel organisers and charitable groups who may only organise one or two trips a year. As a guide, revenue would need to be below £150,000 a year. If you are a more established business, we recommend full ABTOT membership and travel bonding.
Does my company need to be registered in the UK or Ireland to join ABTrust?
Yes, ABTrust is only available to UK and Irish registered companies. All company directors also need to be permanently based in the UK or Ireland. Tours should also be morally and ethically suitable for purchase within the UK or Irish travel industry.
Is ABTrust available to travel agents?
No, ABTrust is specifically focused on companies that arrange their own tours, rather than sell tours packaged and sold as a retail agent. Applicant companies must act as the principal for arranging tours being sold to customers, with all money remitted directly to the tour operator applying for membership.
How does ABTrust compare to bonding?
ABTrust, as the name suggests, is built on the principle of money being deposited into a trust account. Should a travel organiser fail, then the trust account would repay customer pre-payments and fund repatriation in the same way that a travel bond would. However, with ABTrust you pay on a pay-as-you-go basis – depositing monies for each customer booking. When your customers return, the money is returned to you. With travel bonding, you generally pay a lump sum up front based on the entire year’s projected turnover, though with ABTOT you can pay for this in equal monthly instalments.
Is ABTrust an acceptable form of consumer protection?
ABTrust is fully compliant with the Package Travel Regulations.
Can I accept customer monies in currencies other than Sterling?
Yes, Euros and Dollars are also accepted currencies.
Do I need to have any other insurance in place as a condition of membership?
As a member of ABTrust we would require you to have public and products liability in place.
How much will it cost to be a member of ABTrust?
Please call us to discuss fees, but broadly speaking you would pay an application fee to join ABTrust and a monthly administration fee, which would be discounted for the first two years of membership. You would then need to pay a set amount per booking into ABTrust. This money would be paid back when your customers return, assuming that ABTrust hasn’t had to make a payment owing to your financial failure.
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