Abta’s chief executive Mark Tanzer has said the organisation wouldn’t have done anything differently with regards the pandemic if it had its time again.
Speaking at Abta’s virtual convention today, Tanzer said: "It’s been a very challenging six months for the industry and Abta, and we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions about how we position ourselves and things we’ve done.
"Looking back, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. When we introduced refund credit notes (RCNs) we knew this was because they couldn’t be paid within 14 days and that put us in a difficult position with customers and some other members in the industry.
"But it did give a lifeline and a lot of customers have accepted RCNs or rebooked, which has really helped the industry get through that."
He admitted both Abta and the industry in general had "taken a battering".
"But I think this was because of the unprecedented circumstances of Covid rather than anything we did," he added.
"We were very early in with the government with the cash flow, saying ‘this is where we run out of money, this is why we need loans quickly and salary support’.
"We weren’t the only sector in there, but our voice was heard. We’ve been through peaks and troughs over the summer and that will carry on.
"It won’t be a smooth recovery. We’ll move forward and come back. We have to be able to react to different circumstances as they develop."
Tanzer added: "The refunds and financial protection mechanism weren’t able to cope. We need to take a hard look at those systems. The existing system of financial protection – bonds has worked. Coped with some significant failures. Need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water."