ABTA vs ATOL
ABTA and ATOL are acronyms that stand for Association of British Travel Agents and Air Travel Organizers Licensing respectively. If anything, these two organizations can be clubbed together is as watchdogs of interests of holiday makers and frequent travelers. Both organizations are representative of travel industry. Despite their similarities, there are many differences in the role and functioning of ABTA and ATOL, which will be discussed in this article.
ABTA, which was earlier known as The Association of British Travel Agents, was formed in 1950 with the sole purpose of protecting the rights of consumers. It looked after the activities of travel agents and tour operators. It still does the same though it has been merged with FTO. By offering value for their money, ABTA has been helping millions of tourists for the last 50 years.
ATOL stands for Air Travel Organizers’ Licensing, and it is not an association but a scheme initiated by the civil aviation authority in UK that seeks to protect the financial interests of vacationers. Tourists who buy tour packages from operators who are members of the group get protection in this scheme. Nearly all tour operators have to obtain ATOL license from the civil aviation authority, and operators cannot sell tour packages without this license. This is not all, as tour operators must purchase insurance bonds from the authority, as well, to compensate tourists that are affected by delays along with expenses on accommodation and related expenses while staying abroad because of such delays.
What is the difference between ABTA and ATOL?
• ABTA and ATOL are both watchdogs of the interests of tourists making use of the services of tour operators in the country.
• ABTA is an organization of travel agents, whereas ATOL is a scheme initiated by CAA.
• ATOL tries to safeguard the financial interests of travelers by providing compensation to them for expenses borne by them on account of delays of flights.
• No tour operator can sell packages to travelers without obtaining a license from CAA.