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ATOL protection scheme under review

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The rise in popularity of low-cost, do-it-yourself holiday packages has prompted the Government to review the effectiveness of a holiday protection scheme which covers holidaymakers in the event of a tour operator collapse.

A revision of the scope and relevance of the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) scheme will aim to better protect holidaymakers who choose to take advantage of cheap internet flights and 'mix and match' package deals.

The ATOL logo has become a sign of reassurance to millions of British holidaymakers since the 1970s when it was first introduced, yet dramatic changes to the industry have meant that the once trusted scheme has failed to move with the times and protect travellers who have chosen to book every step of their holiday themselves.

Transport Secretary Lord Adonis announced the plans as part of a wider overhaul of the aviation sector.

Lord Adonis said: "The concept of a package holiday has become blurred, as many holidays are now sold through mix-and-match components.

"Consumers must be able to make informed choices. The changes we are proposing will help ensure that the scheme remains relevant to the way people book their holidays today and still offers excellent protection for travellers."

© Press Association 2009