The Package Travel Directive (PTD) came into effect in 1990 and its provisions were introduced into UK law through the Package Travel Regulations (PTR) in 1992.

    The PTD and PTR introduced requirements on the organisers and sellers of package holidays to provide greater protection to purchasers of package holidays in three main areas:

    • The provision of information
    • Financial protection and  repatriation in the event of company failure
    • A specific regime for contractual liability in respect of package holidays.

    The PTD and PTR have contributed significantly to consumer protection rights since their introduction. However, following major changes in the marketplace for travel services, they are now under review.

    Revision of the Package Travel Directive

    On 9 July 2013 the European Commission published proposals for a revised Directive on ‘Package Holidays and Assisted Travel Arrangements’.

    Current activities

    ABTA undertook a thorough consultation with Members in summer 2013, seeking views on the proposed Directive. The responses received and discussions conducted have guided our approach in regular meetings with policymakers in both Brussels and Westminster. In particular, we are seeking additional clarity around the definitions of the key concepts, such as Assisted Travel Arrangements and what constitutes a package within the proposed Directive. We are also lobbying on other issues identified by Members where amendments to the current text are required.

    The European legislative process completed in late 2015, and the adopted Directive text was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 11 December 2015. This means that implementation in the UK needs to be completed by 1 January 2018, at the latest. ABTA will be closely engaged with the implementation process in the UK. We will keep Members updated as this progresses. 

    ABTA Members can follow developments in the revision process through regular updates in ABTA Today. You can also watch our PTD video for more information.

    If you’re an ABTA Member and you would like to ask us a specific question around the revision of PTD, please email us on ptd@abta.co.uk.

    The Package Travel Regulations

    Responsibility for implementation of the PTRs lies with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). For most flight-based package holidays, the security for the protection of customer money is provided by the Air Transport Organisers’ Licensing scheme managed by the Civil Aviation Authority. The ATOL scheme in the UK has recently been reformed; please visit the ATOL reform page for more information. Once the revised Package Travel Directive has been adopted, the UK Government will have around 24 months to update the PTRs to reflect the changes.

    It is likely that the revision process will have ramifications for the recently revised ATOL scheme within the UK. If this is the case, ATOL would have to be amended to comply with a revised Directive.