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Newly signed ATAS members Mobile Travel Agents (MTA) has countered what it describes as “negative assertions” from within the travel industry ranks calling for Travel Agent Intermediary Failure Insurance (TAIFI) to become a mandatory requirement for ATAS participants.

In response to ongoing comments made by several opponents of the scheme, including Travel Managers’ Chairman, Barry Mayo, MTA co-managing director Roy Merricks said it had been asserted by some that TAIFI should be a mandatory requirement for ATAS participants and that without this, ATAS was doomed to failure as soon as the first accredited member failed financially.

“Despite Travel Managers not being an industry representative body, Mr Mayo claims he has been contacted by independent travel agents endorsing these assertions,” Mr Merricks said.

Mr Merricks continued by saying “it speaks volumes however, that from what we are hearing, enquiry by travel agents for TAIFI insurance is extremely low.”

Meanwhile, it seems ATAS has a backlog of several hundred active applications, with many more commencing the process each day.

Mr Merricks posed the question, if TAIFI is so important to so many and needs to be mandatory, why would there not be hundreds of applications for TAIFI currently afoot?

Mr Merricks said it was logical that with the transition to deregulation just a couple of weeks away, many travel agents were now looking at the various options available and making their own informed commercial decisions in accordance with their business needs.

In addition, he said, many of the buying groups and branded groups were still making arrangements and addressing this via their own commercial solutions.

“In essence, all of these reasons support why a single mandatory insurance product is not the answer to everyone’s needs,” Mr Merricks said.

Without Travel Agent Intermediary Failure Insurance (TAIFI), do you think ATAS is doomed to fail?