ABTOT has a straightforward membership process. There is no call centre or keypad options, just straight through to the Membership Secretary or another member of the team who are there to help you with your enquiry. We have built up expertise in our field, and we pride ourselves in getting to know every one of our members’ businesses so that we can be most effective in assisting you.
What you get from ABTOT
Frequently asked questions
Are we right for you?
ABTOT members offer a personalised service, providing specialised holidays throughout the world to their customers. These involve activities as diverse as tuition in needlework to climbing Everest. What they have in common is an ethos that we at ABTOT share. They are all invariably independent travel organisers that are enthusiastic and expert in their specific destinations and activities. ABTOT members offer innovative ideas, by motivated people – often a holiday that has been designed just for their customers. Whilst the holiday programmes may vary from offering ski holidays to archaeological tours or conservation to cycling, ABTOT is able to protect all your non-licensable bookings, including accommodation only sales, if required. ABTOT also looks favourably at start-ups, giving professional travel organisers the assistance they require to successfully launch their travel businesses and comply with the Package Travel Regulations. ABTOT also offers membership to charitable groups or occasional travel organisers who may only run one or two trips per year. So if you want to join an association which can offer you exclusive benefits and a no fuss package of regulatory and insurance support, then give ABTOT a call.
Is membership approval guaranteed?
Each application is assessed individually. We will carry out a preliminary assessment to check if your organisation meets the membership’s criteria before the formal application stage. For further details of the application process please see the Membership Application section.
Do I have to protect my entire turnover through ABTOT?
Where you offer travel products as a 'principal' rather than an 'agent' this turnover will need to be protected. Acting as a principal may involve creating and selling packages as a traditional travel organiser or putting together a 'dynamic package'. This is where various elements of a package - transport, accommodation, and car hire via the internet and creating own product. This turnover would need to be covered by ABTOT. If you also act in an agency capacity e.g. earning a commission for selling a Thomson Holiday then this turnover will not be covered by ABTOT as Thomson will have its own protection in place. Part of the conditions of membership is the requirement to advise your customer where and when ABTOT is protecting the travel arrangement they have purchased. This is normally done at the point of sale and then confirmed on the invoice/documentation.
If I take bookings from overseas clients will I need to include the turnover for financial protection purposes?
As the internet develops as a sales and marketing tool more bookings are being made by overseas clients. This offers additional scope for ABTOT members to increase sales. Whether it is necessary to include turnover from overseas sales for ABTOT protection will depend on the circumstances. If the holiday payment is received in the UK before departure the turnover would be included. If the payments are made after departure (or in some cases return) of the trip the turnover can normally be excluded. If bookings are received via agents the risk will remain with the agent until payment is received by the ABTOT member in the UK. Whether to include or not will be dependent on the contractual arrangements. If you need any advice ABTOT will be happy to help - please note repatriation is normally excluded from cover as overseas travellers will have made their own travel arrangements.
Why do I need to have combined liability insurance as a condition of membership?
An aspect that is often overlooked and receives limited publicity is that under the 1992 Regulations travel organisers can be held liable for loss, injury or death that may be suffered by their clients. This liability may extend to the servants and agents of the travel organiser over whom the travel organiser may have limited control. Successful claims can involve awards involving hundreds of thousands of pounds, and in many cases would bankrupt a small travel organiser which had no insurance cover in place. Even dynamic packages are now seen in this light and there are already cases on record where the courts have ruled that a 'package' has been created. It is obviously a prudent move to protect the future of the business and combined liability cover is in most cases relatively inexpensive. To find out how ABTOT can help you get this please see the Bonding solutions section of this website