The Government has launched a consultation on plans for ‘Updating Consumer Protection in the Package Travel Sector’. The document sets out the Government’s proposals for updating regulations to align with the 2015 European Package Travel Directive. The consultation document and corresponding Impact Assessment have been published on the Government’s website, and are available through this link. The consultation closes on 25 September 2017.
The UK Government recognises that there is a need to introduce stronger consumer protection to address technical innovation in the travel sector which has created new ways of buying and selling holidays since 1992 when the first Package Travel Directive was enacted into UK law.
The consultation sets out the Government’s proposals for transposing the requirements of the new European Package Travel Directive.
In general, provisions will appear in UK regulations as they are set out in the Directive but as the Government can choose how to implement the Directive in some respects, it has set out its position on these in the consultation and invited comments. In particular they are seeking views on:
• Modes of insolvency protection for packages that do not include a flight. Would the options currently in place still be viable under the new regime?
• The new concept of Linked Travel Arrangements (LTAs).
• The creation of a UK central contact point that will respond to other EU Member States regarding UK established organisers’ insolvency regimes.
• Minimum harmonisation provisions.
• An extension to current protections to cover UK holidaymakers who buy package holidays online.
• A requirement for better information to be provided to travellers at the point of booking.
• Ensuring the business that puts the package together is responsible for the entire holiday – even if some elements will be fulfilled by third parties.
The new Package Travel Regulations are due to come into force in July 2018 and will apply only to holidays booked on or after the start day. The draft regulations themselves have yet to be published and are not expected until the autumn.
Contact us if you would like advice about how the new Regulations may impact on your business.