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ATOL, ABTA or ABTOT – What’s The Difference?

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ATOL, ABTA or ABTOT – What’s The Difference?

Organising a school tour is a huge responsibility, especially when it comes to the student’s safety and dealing with the financial side of things; where many people are entrusting you with their money, many times a large sum of it. So, ensuring the trip is covered with the right protection is paramount so that, should anything go wrong, their money can be refunded to them safely and easily.

In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll help you understand the different types of protection travel companies will offer and what to look out for to ensure you get the financial peace of mind you need for your next school tour.

 

What to look out for when choosing an educational tour provider

  • All school tour providers should be accredited by a professional trade body such as ABTA – The Travel Association. See https://www.abta.com/ for more information.
  • Your school tour provider should be covered by a trusted financial protection organisation, such as ABTOT, to ensure your money is protected should the trip get cancelled or the tour provider go under. Visit https://www.abtot.com/ for more information on travel bonding schemes.
  • For added protection, you should always try to book your tour as a full package deal as this will ensure that each part of your trip has the same level of protection should anything go wrong.

 

Understanding the difference between ABTA, ATOL and ABTOT

Feel like you’re being bombarded with acronyms that mean nothing to you? Let’s look at what each of these mean and what you should be looking out for when booking your next trip.

ABTA, also known as Air Travel Organiser’s Licensing, is the largest and most trusted trade association for travel and tour operators in the UK and their role is to ensure that all of their members hold the highest professional standards in line with the association’s guidelines. If your tour provider is an ABTA member, you can be sure that, should anything go wrong, you can contact ABTA directly who’ll deal with your issue hassle-free.

All of the above are recognised financial protection schemes that provide refunds to customers should a travel operator cease trading, giving customers the peace of mind that their trip is in safe hands whatever happens. So, what’s the difference between the three? Let’s break it down:

  • ATOL specialises in financial protection for package trips that include travel by flight and so, if your school trip involves a flight, choose an ATOL protected tour provider.
  • ABTA, on the other hand, provides financial protection for package trips that do not involve a flight, for example travel by coach or ferry.
  • ABTOT provides the same level of protection for non-flight trips as ABTA and can be used as a trusted alternative.

SLT Tours are members of both ATOL and ABTA so you can be 100% confident your trip is in safe hands when booked with us!

Package trips offer more protection!

Package trips, where more than one element of your trip is organised by the same tour provider, offer a higher level of protection than a DIY trip organised across different companies. This is due to the Package Travel Regulations 1992 or PTR’s cover package trips come with, that offer additional protection to its customers, for example, refunds where a trip is cancelled or changed significantly and a range of other issues.

At SLT Tours, we take charge of every element of your trip, from travel booking to accommodation and excursion, so you’ll be fully covered for every part of your tour.

(Please note, any element you book separately to SLT Tours will not be covered by SLT.)

Want to know about other checks you might need to make when running a school trip? Take a look at the School Travel Forum (STF) for more information: https://www.schooltravelforum.com/

Ready to start looking into organising your school’s next trip? Contact our team today and we’ll help get the ball rolling!

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