Future of BCH scheme secured
The future of Bonded Coach Holidays (BCH) has been secured following the formation of a strategic alliance between ABTOT (Association of Bonded Tour Organisers Trust) and the Confederation of Passenger Transport.
CPT is authorised to run the BCH consumer protection scheme by BEIS under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has placed unique strains on the key requirements associated with the scheme.
BEIS require providers of a consumer protection scheme to hold significant financial reserves and shortfall insurance to cover payments in the event of a bond being insufficient.
While current bond levels were sufficient to cover failures before the pandemic the subsequent decisions by BCH members to issue refund credit notes means there have been a number of calls on BCH’s shortfall insurance making it unlikely to be renewed.
In addition, the terms of the BCH scheme require CPT to hold reserves at a level which, given the current climate, it is not realistic or sensible for CPT to achieve.
CPT’s new alliance with ABTOT will ensure the future of BCH, which will continue to be available exclusively to CPT members. Costs will be broadly in line with current levels and members will continue to benefit from dedicated administration, advice on brochure wording and access to an exclusive Travel and Tourism Helpline.
BCH spokesperson Ray Coyne said: “The Bonded Coach Holidays scheme provides the industry with a valuable asset to reassure customers that their money is safe and secure. I’m delighted that our new partnership with ABTOT will mean this scheme continue to be available to CPT members.”
ABTOT Managing Director Richard Watson said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with CPT. Both BCH and ABTOT focus on providing a cost effective way of meeting the package travel regulations. It will be our mission to continue BCH’s high standards, and longer term look for ways to add additional value to the membership offering.”
CPT will be holding a meeting for BCH members on 2 February alongside ABTOT to answer members’ queries about the new scheme.