ABTA has called on the European Commission (EC) to make further reforms into the Package Travel Directive after proposals were announced today.
The association said the system still has a “long way to go” although welcomed some of the suggestions for easing the responsibilities for some members. This included the right for travel agents to act as agents and not pick up tour operator liabilities; the potential to include click-throughs in the scheme and that business travel would be excluded. For full details of the proposals, click here.
“We are also very encouraged that the Commission has chosen not to add some specific burdensome responsibilities to the Directive that had been considered, including cooling off periods for holiday bookings and a possible extension of tour operator liabilities beyond the liabilities of airlines,” a statement from the association said.
The association is to now consult its members for clarification ahead of the Directive editing in September.
Its statement read: “As you would expect with a major reform of this nature, there are a number of important points outlined in the proposals that we will need to carefully review, seek clarity and consult further with our Members on, such as the concept of Assisted Travel Arrangements and definitions of a package holiday. We will do this over the summer and then go back to the policymakers in Brussels in time for when the Parliament and Council begin their scrutiny and editing of the Directive in September.”
TUI Travel welcomed the proposed changes for covering different holiday types and helping more holidaymakers.
Peter Long, Chief Executive, TUI Travel said:
“The European Commission has for some considerable time recognised that the way many travellers book their holidays is evolving yet the consumer rights around this haven’t changed in over 30 years. We believe that it is important that not only should customers have the same rights irrespective of how they book but that they should be clear and simple to avoid confusion. This has not been the case to date, something we have made very clear both to the Commission and source market governments. We now look forward to the revision proceeding through its next stages and becoming law.”