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'DIY' holidaymakers risk travel cover

Around eight million UK tourists risk being stranded during the summer because they are not covered by Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (Atol) travel protection.Most traditional travel agents automatically cover holidaymakers with Atol protection, which should ensure that tourists are escorted home and reimbursed should their agent cease trading.'DIY' tailored holidays from independent agents do not always offer this scheme, yet 39 per cent of holidaymakers booked this kind of holiday last year where a decade ago 97 per cent of holidays were booked through conventional agents.David Clover, spokesman for Atol, said on Channel 4's News at Noon that he was concerned that a new survey by the Civil Aviation Authority showed that a third of holidaymakers mistakenly believe they are covered by the Atol scheme when booking independently.Mr Clover said: "Atol provides full financial protection if anything goes wrong with the travel company, that means they'll get their full refund or be repatriated back to the UK if the tour operator goes bust.He warned of the importance of making sure you have adequate travel insurance, saying: "If you do a DIY holiday then there are real risks people will be stranded abroad or will lose out financially."

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