Travel agents' trade body Abta fears that if recommendations it has made to the the GISC's second consultation document are not heeded, many travel agents could cease selling travel insurance.

The GISC's document categorises travel agents in the same way as brokers and intermediaries, meaning that Abta's members will have to pay for membership of two bodies – Abta and the GISC.

Mike Monk, Abta's head of finance said: "We are very concerned because our members are already heavily regulated by us."

Monk said Abta had three key criticisms of the document. The first is the separation of premium fees.

The second is the cost of membership to the new body.

The third is the requirement for travel agents to possess professional indemnity insurance.

Currently, Abta will refund consumers should their holiday fall through. Monk says this means members are being forced to pay twice for the same thing.

Monk said: "If travel agents are members of Abta we will refund any losses to the consumer. Consumers have got full cover. I think that if the document goes through as it is, the consequences will be serious for many members.

"It costs £500 to be a member of Abta. They are talking about five to six figure sums to be members of the GISC and that is going to seriously damage the bottom line of many travel agents and if the recommendations go through as they stand, some might stop selling insurance."

Monk called for fees to be structured differently. "Let's not reinvent the wheel: much of what is in this document is already being done by our members," he said.