Package Travel and Assisted Travel Arrangements Directive
In May 2015 the European Commission released the final version of the new Package Travel Directive which seeks to resolve a number of the problems associated with the old Directive, especially around the issues of dynamic packaging and customer rights. While the UK industry lobby were not able to get the definition changed to make travel a core component of a package, there has been progress in that, if a person purchases two travel services, one of which is either carriage of passengers, accommodation or car hire and the other is “other travel service”, then a package is not formed if:
- the “other tourism service” is a not significant proportion of the of the value of the combination and does not represent an essential feature of the combination
- the “other tourism service” is selected and purchased after the performance of the first travel service has started.
Critically when the consultation starts on translating this Directive into UK legislation, this will provide us a significant opportunity to lobby for definitions of “significant proportion” and “essential feature” that then free many small businesses from the Directive when providing value-added products to customers.
There may also be an opportunity to develop value-added products where the customer selects and pays for their value-added “other travel service” component once they arrive at their accommodation. For example pay £xxx for the room in advance and then get a choice on arrival of say either tickets to the local attraction, or a discount meal for two at the local pubs for an additional£x (£x being significantly less than principal service cost of £xxx).
The full EU Directive can be accessed at: EU Package Travel Directive 2015
British Destination members will be alerted to any significant developments, including details of the forthcoming UK consultation as soon as they are know.