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I'm new the forum. We are a small Travel Agent, mainly dealing with Air tickets.At the moment we are agents of the consolidators and using their ATOL under agency agreement. Now we are looking to expand and considering some sort of our ATOL, which allow us to buy from more consolidators.

Would it be possible for one of you GURUS of the trade to compare ATOL / TTA and Travel Vault or any other in the market, which would be economical for the business and easier to handle in terms of administration as well.

Thanks in advance to all the "Gurus" of the trade.

waiting in anticipation,


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Hi Rohit,

Do you have a email I can message you directly on?




can you please let me know how you are doing?



Hi Neil
Can you please send me the same details. I got the same question?

Anybody who would like to shed some light on this subject please.

Kind Regards,


Hi Rohit,

It is a nice problem to have in that you have proved your market and now looking to the next stage in the development of your business. The problem now is the next step probably has an immediate effect on your overheads and all of the options you have named above require financial outlay and also financial credibility.

ATOL directly is the cleanest in terms of direct control and reporting but with the small business ATOL's now going you will need to not only prove your financial credibility but also provide a bond for your business - either through cash or insurance. You would though have complete autonomy on your money in the business (positive and negative). 

With the TTA and Travel Vault the choice now comes down to whether you protect the funds through a trust account or insurance (at the very base level). The ATOL license does essentially the same thing but you either hold your funds in trust with the TTA or pay an insurance premium with the Travel Vault. ATOL fees are largely the same (though I would check with the companies directly). 

Personally my own view would be to go with either the TTA or the Travel Vault for the simple reason that you describe yourself as a small agent and with these two you will get support through the sign up process and also on an ongoing basis. Despite running a trust account company (which doesnt offer ATOL currently) the insurance would afford you the cashflow freedom which you may need subject to your consolidators terms. 

Anyway just my thoughts and opinion. Good luck with it all - everyone you have mentioned is very helpful and will help you through the process but think about whether you meet their criteria firstly as this may push you one way or another; think about what your cashflow needs to look like for your suppliers; and what effects the costs of a bond/insurance will have on your bottom line.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any other queries.

Kind Regards,

Will Plummer

Hi Will,

Thanks a lot for the detailed analysis. I would like to share my understanding of the Cost of the bond is coming out to be 8-10% of the amount, which in case of ATOL would be 3.5 - 4K where as if I go with Insurance around 1.2 - 1.5% of the booking cost, which would literally mean half of my profit out of a flight only sale. 

Hi Rohit

If you are selling flights only, you would need to hold your own ATOL or continue as you are currently doing, which is acting as an agent of an ATOL holder.

The cost of each of the options you highlight will really depend on your projected passenger numbers and average selling price.

Are you able to share this?



Dear Matt,

Would it be possible, if I can discuss it with you offline. Please send me your contact details please.

Kind regrads,


Hi Rohit

No problem at all.

Please call the office on 020 8853 3700. I am out at meetings today but you can speak to my colleague Charley who will be able to assist.



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I am also very new into the Travel agent business but I got lots of experience in destination were I will be selling my tour packages to middle east and India, my background is from travel industry working for the corporate company but know thinking of opening my own.

I am thinking of forming a company here in Birmingham UK, selling tour packages for Middle east and India which Includes Flight+Accomodation+Land Arrangments+Transfer. I am not sure what licencing will apply ABTA or ATOL or TRAVEL VAULT ?

Also I need any idea or suggestion about Web site development with backend office for tours and travel, any recommendation for travel agent booking software managing bookings, were to buy flights etc …

I don’t have a big budget to spend for bonds and licences but looking for reasonable amount to Invest. Can anyone help or suggest how to apply ABTA & ATOL with bond at the affordable way as I am new and my budget to spend is very low. Any suggestion please contact me direct via email:






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