According to the EU Commission, tourism is the most resilient
sector of the EU economy. The current EU Package Travel Directive
dates back to 1990 and covers only traditional package holidays,
although in the last two and a half decades the travel market was
transformed by fast-growing technology and internet. For this
reason, the current regulations are considered outdated and the EU
realises that legislative update is needed.
In July 2013, the European Commission (EC) brought forward a
proposal regarding the review of the Council Directive 90/314/EEC
(Package Travel Directive), which was accepted by the European
Parliament in 2014. Recently, on the 28th of May 2015, the EU
Council approved the proposal of new Package Travel Directive.
Following its publication in the EU Official Journal, due for the
end of 2015, Member States will have two years to implement the new
rules and traders a further period of 6 months to adapt to the new
The directive will not apply to business trips, neither to
travel services which are covering 24 hours without accommodation
or stand-alone products (eg: a flight).
The concept of package
The current regulation protects consumers who have booked a
pre-arranged "package holiday", usually consisting of a
combination of accommodation and transport or car rental. The new
regulation broadens the concept of "package" and includes
protection for the following combinations of travel
packages: ready-made holidays by a tour operator;
a selection of components by the traveller and purchased from a
single business online or offline;
arrangements: consists of two or more elements bought from
different traders through linked online processes where the
traveller's name or particulars need to conclude a booking
transaction transferred between the traders at the latest when the
booking of the first service is confirmed. In order to qualify as
linked, the bookings must be made within 24 hours.
Due to this change, an additional 120 million consumer booking
customised packages online will be protected by the directive.
The effects on businesses and consumers
The New Package Travel Directive will offer wider protection to
consumers booking combined travel holidays, particularly online.
Furthermore, under the new regulation, consumers will benefit from
stronger cancellation rights and fairer and more predictable
prices, alongside better assistance provided from the organiser in
case of difficulty (Article 14), regarding health services, local
authorities and consular assistance, and help to arrange
alternative travel plans.
Previous rules were not clear about the liability, allowing
Member States to choose between the retailer and the organiser.
Under the new regulations, the liable party is the organiser of the
package, with the possibility for the Member States to make the
retailer liable as well as the organiser.
Not only consumers, but businesses will benefit from the new
directive too. According to the new Travel Package Directive,
insolvency schemes would be recognised across the EU, therefore
companies could expand their activities to other countries.
Another benefit for businesses is the modernisation and
harmonisation of information requirements. This pre-contractual
information will make it obligatory to inform travellers of their
rights on passport and visa requirements, package travel contracts,
price changes, termination rights, and travellers' rights when
something goes wrong. This new provision will have a positive
effect on traders, saving them nearly 400 million euro per year,
according to the EU.
The old rules needed to be brought into the digital age, a
change is essential, and it is certain, that the New Travel Package
Directive will meet the needs of the consumers and the businesses.
With the new rules, consumers enjoy more protection, greater rights
and according to the EU, will reduce damage to consumers by about
430 million euro a year. One of the most important benefits of the
new directive will be the boost to the economy due to clearer and
harmonised regulation which will allow businesses to expand.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Where standard printed terms and conditions of a contract are inconsistent with its special terms and conditions, the special conditions will prevail so as not to defeat the main object and intention of the contract.
The Common Reporting Standard is, like FATCA before it (a regime established by US legislation, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), an information exchange regime aimed at international tax transparency.
An assignment of rights under a contract is normally restricted to the benefit of the contract. Where a party wishes to transfer both the benefit and burden of the contract this generally needs to be done by way of a novation.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).