Travel Trust Association - Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a query about our business, the benefits we offer our members or the way we protect your customers, see if your question has already been answered below. If not, we would be happy to answer it for you. For general enquiries, just call us on 01483 545780 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. Or for any queries related to joining the Travel Trust Association, phone 0800 680 0707 / 01483 545783 or send us a note to email@example.com.
Does it meet my obligations under the Package Travel Regulations?
The TTA is a trade body set up for travel agents and tour operators to comply with the Package Travel Regulations (PTR) and the CAA ATOL Regulations. Membership of the TTA means you can sell flights, accommodation and all related travel product either as agents, organisers or operators to your customers. As you have your own trust account with 100% financial protection, we can offer three solutions to ATOL, which are explained below.
How long does it take to set up protection through the Travel Trust Association?
Typically an application takes between 4-6 weeks to complete.
Does the protection also cover packages with flights?
Holiday arrangements that include a flight need to be protected by ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence).
By becoming a TTA Member you will have access to 3 solutions to this requirement:
- T-ATOL – your own ATOL at a lower cost (non-bonded low cost ATOL license). TTA hold a CAA third party agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority.
- ATOL Angel - dynamic packaging tool, providing you with cover under our ATOL on a pay-as-you-go basis (alternative to T-ATOL).
- Honeycomb – online search & book engine, providing you with cover under our ATOL.
Do we have to meet financial criteria to become a TTA member?
There are no bond or asset requirements. All we ask is that:
- The business be registered in the UK
- The business must have at least one Director or shareholder residing in the UK
- Each member must agree to the TTA trust account model
What information do I need to apply?
Together with our help, we will work with you to build a profile of your business. The information we ask to see may vary if you have an existing business.
Typically you can expect us to ask for:
- A completed Travel Trust Association application form
- Certificate of Incorporation
- CV & passport for Directors, Shareholders and those in a role of responsibility
- Proof of home address
- Your Business Plan
- Financial Projections - Profit & Loss/Cash Flow
- Existing businesses are also required to submit a copy of your last annual accounts
- Professional Indemnity, Public & Product Liability & Employers Liability. We can assist with a recommended insurance provider
Do we need to have professional indemnity/public liability insurance?
As part of being a member you will need to have an insurance policy in place before membership being granted. We are happy to provide recommendations.
How will I collect payments from my trust account?
We will put you in contact with our merchant acquirer. They will be able to discuss facilities & associated costs including;
- Handheld PDQ machine
- Online virtual terminal
- Pay by link
Do I have to use Business Partners who are recommended by Travel Trust Association?
As a member you will have access to over 180 Business Partners that we have negotiated increased commercial terms. These Business Partners include all travel product; flights, accommodation, transfers, car hire, cruise, ferries and more.
You are also free to work with your own suppliers under our Supplier Failure Cover insurance scheme. We can release funds early to free up cash flow and pay suppliers pre-departure.
Can I work from home?
Yes. As a TTA Member, you can be an independent travel agent, tour operator or tour organiser and base your business from home. Or, you can become a 'homeworker' through our homeworking division, Independent Travel Experts.
How comprehensive is the consumer protection?
TTA provides the most comprehensive consumer protection in the market. Unlike all the other protection schemes, including ABTA, it covers the consumer against fraud by the business that sold them their holiday. Every year since the business started some travel companies have gone into liquidation. In all cases, customers protected by booking with TTA member companies get to have their holiday or a full refund.
Do I need a merchant acquirer facility?
Almost certainly, as most consumers want the option of paying by credit card. Membership of TTA gives you automatic access to a credit card facility and preferential transaction fees. Many members join for this alone.
What legislation do I need to be aware of?
The travel market has some key and detailed regulations. Please see our travel business guide's section on 'Travel regulation and legalities' for our explanation.
Where do I go to get the software built to support the business?
We provide a front office system called Honeycomb and a Viewdata based online reservation system to search for suppliers products. Both Honeycomb and Viewdata are provided free of charge. Honeycomb is a live, online search and book engine which provides access to flights, cruises, accommodation, transfers and car hire. All bookings are ATOL compliant and protected by the TTA.
We also offer a back office system called Profit~2 (at an extra cost). Profit~2 will manage your client’s details and all areas of your bookings electronically.
With Honeycomb, Viewdata and Profit~2, you have the software you will need to run your business.
Do I have to form a company or can I act as a sole trader?
Yes you can act as a sole trader but acting within a limited company gives you far more personal protection.
How do I register my company?
You can check your company name and register it at Companies House.
How do I get the finance to fund setting up my company?
Please see our travel business guide to funding your first year which explains the options. Estimating how much you will need is also covered here.
How does the cashflow work through the TTA trust fund?
Customer cash is paid into the trust account. It is then paid out to suppliers accordingly at the appropriate time. This can be before the client travels if you use our Supplier Failure Cover (SFC) insurance, or you are paying a bonded supplier, or after the client travels.
Profit from bookings (customer cash minus supplier costs) can be taken from the Trust Account once suppliers are paid - If you pay a supplier from the Trust Account before the client travels you can take your profit before the client travels.
Do TTA help travel companies raise loans?
Unfortunately we don't raise loans for you. However, our travel clinics can help you write a business plan which will help with the lenders. We also work very closely with two of the biggest high street banks and so we can introduce you to the right people.
Do you help calculate fixed costs, etc. for a start-up business?
Yes we could - we offer advice to start-up businesses. We help you write your business plan or bring your business plan into the real world. At these clinics we could help you with the assumptions behind fixed and variable costs.