Specialist travel industry body, School Travel Forum changes Membership rules to recognise ABTOT’s government approved financial protection scheme and professional services

New changes from School Travel Forum has increased flexibility for its members whilst retaining protection for schools. Membership rules for School Travel Forum, the not-for-profit industry body for specialist school travel and tour operators, now recognise ABTOT’s government approved financial protection scheme and professional services meaning its members can now choose the most appropriate scheme for their operations.

ABTOT has demonstrated that it can support School Travel Forum members by providing: 

  • Robust financial protection:  ABTOT is an approved govt body and was awarded an ATOL franchise in 2017 enabling it to cover flight and non-flight bookings for approved Members and offers 3 Merchant Acquiring Schemes, whereby Members enjoy beneficial acquiring rates and a streamlined application process. 
  • Professional arbitration services 
  • A code of conduct which refers to professional trading standards. 

School Travel Forum is an association run by its members. Central to its focus is the promoting and upholding best practice health and safety within the school travel  sector to enable schools to book with a School Travel Forum member knowing their safety management systems are effective and financial protection is in place.

 School Travel Forum also has added responsibilities as an awarding body for the LOtC Quality Badge to ensure that members have robust financial protection, access to a professional complaints arbitration service, and adhere to a code of conduct which refers to professional trading standards. Until now, School Travel Forum has relied solely on ABTA to cover these aspects.  

Going forward this strategic decision allows School Travel Forum members to customise their financial protection solutions as ABTOT provides a personable, straightforward and cost-effective approach to insolvency protection, accepting insurance backed bonds and an easy to manage financial failure insurance from its sister company t&g as well as accepting bank bonds. 

Richard Watson MD ABTOT says

“ABTOT have been operating for 30 years as a government-approved body and we welcome this change from School Travel Forum for its members. We understand the Travel industry and are proud to bring our expertise and all our services to School Travel Forum Members”

The new offering is a testament to School Travel Forum’s commitment to continuously enhance its services and adapt to the changing demands of the school travel industry. By allowing members the choice of their bonding provider, STF seeks to address the diverse needs of its members and provide a comprehensive range of options to further strengthen membership. 

Gill Harvey CEO School Travel Forum says

“By partnering with ABTOT, School Travel Forum can provide its members with bonding arrangements that align with their business needs  while maintaining the additional professional arbitration services and professional trading standards that we uphold.”