Thousands more jobs at risk due to flawed protection system
Published on Thursday, September 26, 2019
Wayne Darrock, managing director of JTA Travel Group, fears Thomas Cook’s demise will trigger the collapse of more operators and blames a short-sighted approach to consumer protection. Here’s what he had to say:
“10 years on and our flawed travel protection system could potentially see the collapse of more tour operators and the loss of thousands more jobs in addition to Thomas Cook this winter. The lack of clarity and protection for all, especially tour operators, that we are seeing this week is unbelievable.
A flawed directive insisting that these companies pay millions of pounds they do not have to protect consumers due to the Thomas Cook collapse will drive a massive winter of misery to all companies resulting in a lack of choice and pricing and the demise of our industry in part.
The Freedom Travel Group was allowed to trade under the guise of a trust that didn’t protect suppliers’ funds. The sheer lack of awareness and policing from authorities begs the question of who takes responsibility for this. We now have hundreds of agents not being paid their earnings and rumours of funds accessed freely and without control.
A simple insurance backed fee as we see across Europe, that protects all and our amazing industry and staff, is now the only simple tried and tested solution. Consumer protection is always critical but the loss of thousands of jobs is also critical and damaging to this country. The short sighted approach from the authorities has to be addressed once and for all for a healthy, balanced travel industry.
Fortunately my company is financially very stable and and no doubt we will benefit from a reduced market in the future with my fellow operators who survive. That doesn’t mean we do not care about all our fellow suppliers and agents that are also feeling the pain due to our flawed system. We need to act now to protect the future.”