For some, the changes may have very little affect whereas others, such as online travel organisers and travel agents, it has been more significant. The Government isn’t proposing to do as much as it could to simplify the process; it appears to be doing just enough to implement the PTD requirements. For example the flight and non-flight inclusive package protection regime is not expected to be simplified, which is what the industry is crying out for.
From a consumer perspective the new changes seem to be a positive step forward, with more protection being put in place as the definition of what makes up a ‘package’ is extended.
As already described above, the Package Travel Directive 2015 maintains the requirement that organisers of package holidays must provide financial failure insurance to their customers. The security must provide for the refund of all payments received in relation to forward bookings and the repatriation of travellers who have already departed. However, the new Package Travel Directive adds a significant new twist.
The Package Travel Directive 2015 provides that all member states of the EU must recognise the insolvency protection regimes of other member states. To be more precise, a member state cannot impose its own insolvency protection regime on a foreign company selling to travellers who live in its country, if that company is established in another member state and complies with the insolvency protection rules of that other member state. In practice, what this will mean is that a company based in, say, France, but selling into France, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, will not have to comply with the insolvency protection rules of each of those member states. It will only have to comply with the French rules.
This is just one of the practical issues which will have to be worked through before the New Package Travel Directive can effectively be implemented.
We expect detailed guidance from BEIS and the CAA in relation to these anticipated problems in the near future and ABTOT is working closely with both regulators to ensure practical and complete compliance for its members with the Regulations.
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