ECTAA welcomes EU Vice President Reding’s long awaited proposal for a revision of the Package Travel Directive

19-7-2013 — / — Since 2009 the European Commission has been working on the revision of the Package Travel Directive. This legislation is no longer adapted to the market of today and the wide-spread use of the internet. There are now multiple distribution channels, proposing similar products to the package travel. However, 64% of the consumers are not aware that they do not benefit from the same level of consumer protection when buying such products. At the same time it affects competition between organisers complying with the European consumer legislation and all other service providers that offer combined travel arrangements.

ECTAA recalls the need for a balanced approach. The industry agrees with the need for a Directive which ensures that customers book and go on package holidays in confidence, knowing that they will be taken care of if there is a problem with the travel arrangements. However, the obligations entrusted to the organisers must be proportionate to allow them to compete with other market players not subject to the same stringent legal and financial obligations such as the insolvency protection.

ECTAA welcomes:

* The extension of the scope of the Directive and the clarification of the grey zones regarding some combinations of travel services, whether the consumer buys online, offline, through a single point of sale or multiple linked websites;

* The clear exclusion of managed business travel;

* Better information to consumers about what they are buying (packages or assisted travel arrangements) and their rights when purchasing such products;

* The mutual recognition of national insolvency protection schemes, facilitating cross-border sales.

ECTAA will now review in detail the proposal concerning the additional obligations for organisers and retailers, especially regarding the potential burden on SMEs selling assisted travel arrangements, such as in case of insolvency the obligations to provide a refund of pre-payment and, in case of passenger transport, repatriation.

Said ECTAA President, Boris Zgomba: “We advocated for many years for an even level playing field and this proposal goes in the right direction.”


Directive 90/314/EEC on package travel, package holidays and package tours has been adopted in 1990 with the aim of protecting consumers buying a package travel holiday, consisting of, at least, transport and accommodation sold or offered for sale at an inclusive price. The Directive contains rules concerning the liability

of package organisers, who must accept responsibility for the performance of the services offered. The Directive also prescribes rules on the information that must be given to consumers at different points in time and requires organisers to provide a security in order to provide repayment of the price and repatriation of consumers in the event of the operator’s insolvency.

In 2007 the Commission announced its intention to revise the package travel Directive to adapt the legislative framework to the travel sector which has evolved considerably in recent years, such as the development of the internet, the entry of low cost air carriers and the increasing trend of consumers putting together their own holiday components from different service providers, instead of opting for packages pre-arranged by an organiser.

A number of consultations and stakeholder meetings have been organised by the Commission with the industry and other stakeholders. A legislative proposal for the revision of the package travel Directive is foreseen in 2013.



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