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30 Nov 2017

BY Tom Parry


‘Rogue trader’ DMCs putting agents at risk

“Rogue trader” destination management companies (DMCs) are putting holidaymakers at risk, with agents who work with them liable for their actions, a senior Aito figure has warned.

Aito panel

"Nobody has any problems with competition but when those companies are putting the public at risk then that is wrong."

Sunvil Holidays chairman Noel Josephides said the government was “not lifting a finger” to stop DMCs based outside the EU from marketing to customers inside the EU, including the UK, both at travel shows and online in a move which he insisted was illegal under the current Package Travel Regulations.


Speaking to TTG at Aito’s overseas conference in Evora, Portugal, Josephides revealed Aito had partnered with Abta, of which he is also chairman, on a soon-to-be-announced initiative which will “force the government’s hand” to crack down on the issue which is getting “completely out of control”.


“There is a lot of work being done… we are ready to go on it,” said Josephides.


“Nobody has any problems with competition but when those companies are putting the public at risk because they are not complying [with regulations] then that is wrong.


“It is particularly shameful that the government is making no effort even in the simplest possible way to stop what is going on.”


Josephides explained how under new Package Travel Regulations, agents selling products from DMCs would be held legally responsible for the quality of the trip or any problems that arose.


“We don’t mind if they [DMCs] get Atols and public liability cover like we have, and if they comply with the regulations. But they don’t. They are putting travellers in danger and the government has said it doesn’t have the resources to deal with it.”

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