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Published 28 June 2018
Following the recent introduction of the Pre-Action Protocol for the Resolution of Package Travel Claims, which applies where no letter of claim was sent before 7 May 2018, the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 largely come into force from 1 July 2018.
The Regulations which broaden the scope of holiday arrangements that fall under the legislation to include linked travel arrangements as well as packages, set out duties to provide information on package holidays and linked holiday contracts, duties not to increase the price of holidays, restrictions on changing the terms and conditions of the holiday contract and duties on organisers to provide security in case of their insolvency.
Alongside duties on organisers to make provision to accommodate travellers in the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, such as the volcanic ash cloud of 2010, the Regulations impose a liability on organisers of holiday packages for the actions (and omissions) of all providers of the holiday. As a consequence, travel agents and tour operators face a liability for the failures by others to provide transport, accommodation, vehicle rental or other tourist services such as excursions.
The Regulation also brings in a new provision relating to the specific obligations of the retailer where the organiser is established outside of the European Economic Area. Should a retailer in these circumstances establish that the obligations under Parts 4 and 5 of the Regulation, (including responsibility for performance of the package amongst other requirements) have been complied with by the organiser (who is outside of the EEA) then this could result in the non-EU organiser being faced with litigation in the Courts of EU Member States.
In contrast with the Pre-Action Protocol, which sought to reduce the number and cost of holiday sickness claims, the Regulations are intended to implement the Package Travel Directive and increase protection for consumers.
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