The government will spell out new definitions of what constitutes a package and Linked Travel Arrangements shortly after Easter.
UK businesses may need to make changes to comply with the Package Travel Regulations (PTR), which must be adopted by July 1.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) sent a letter to trade associations this week, and a spokesperson confirmed to TTG details would be unveiled “around April 1”.
The industry was given just six weeks to comment on any changes last autumn and fears its thoughts have not been taken onboard.
Aito chairman Derek Moore said: “It’s a bit of a bombshell when, as BEIS admits in its letter, ‘business and consumer groups highlighted some complex concerns that required further in-depth consideration’.”
He said the industry “has no idea” what has been concluded in the past five months and had not been able to comment.
An Aito spokesperson added: “Aito produced 21 pages [of feedback] at short notice, as did Abta and everyone else in the industry. It’s so much research, you put your heart and soul into it and they don’t reply.”
Simon Bunce, director of legal affairs at Abta, added: “The UK government missed the EU’s deadline of January 1 for publishing the new PTR, and now it will be April before the industry gets the final regulations – just three months before they are due to come into force in July.
“The government has also said that it will be working to provide guidance for the travel industry, which is helpful, but the very tight timescale still presents a significant challenge for businesses.”
A BEIS spokesperson responded: “Responses from stakeholders always inform government opinion. The formal response will set out what we have listened to, our thoughts and how we will take things forward.”