Millions of holidaymakers could be at risk this summer because they do not realise they will not be financially protected in the event of operator insolvency.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is warning that the 18 million people in the UK who choose to put their trip together without the help of a travel agent should not assume they are covered.
Research carried out by the organisation, which manages the ATOL protection programme, found that 92 per cent of travel customers consider financial protection important when heading overseas.
Despite this, some 35 per cent of the 5,000 respondents to the CAA's survey believed that the different segments of a DIY holiday - flights, hotels and car hire - would be protected if an operator collapsed.
This is not always the case, a spokesperson from ATOL has warned. "Holiday purchases are still a significant household purchase so we want consumers to make informed choices about financial protection," David Clover said.
"Those building their own holidays using different suppliers should be aware that they will not be protected against the risks of insolvency in the same way as booking all elements with one travel company."
Although he insisted that booking an entire holiday with one provider needn't mean that consumers must compromise on price or flexibility, Mr Clover added that "buying with their credit card or taking out adequate insurance which covers against insolvency" can help protect DIY holidaymakers.
Travel insurance remains a key holiday investment, as a separate study from Swiftcover recently revealed that 22 per cent of holidaymakers suffer lost luggage when travelling by air.
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