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10.07.2013

The new Package Travel Directive will create confusion on the holiday market, warns the European hospitality industry

HOTREC, the business association representing the European hospitality industry, warned that the new rules proposed by the European Commission on package holidays could lead to a form of confusion on the holiday market that would be detrimental to both businesses and consumers.

Following the European Commission’s proposal for a new Package Travel Directive, HOTREC expressed its worries that some of the new rules proposed could significantly mess up the hotel market. “Our preliminary analysis is that the extension of the scope and obligations of the Directive might create significant divergences in the legal regime applicable to different form of hotel bookings. This is likely to create confusion on the holiday market, which is neither in the interest of the consumer nor of the hotel industry” commented Mr. Kent Nyström, President of HOTREC.

Indeed, while stand-alone hotel bookings are subject to the new Consumer Rights Directive, hotel bookings combined with another tourism service are falling under the scope of the Package Travel Directive. The new rules proposed would make these two legal regimes significantly different in the future. For instance, while the Consumer Rights Directive exempts hotel bookings from a mandatory right of withdrawal, the new rules on package travel would make the same hotel booking subject to a right of withdrawal when combined with another service, even though the hotel does not know it was combined by the consumer and do not intend to sell or be part of a package. “This is incoherent and would lead to a kind of discrimination based on the mode of booking. That would make it difficult for hotels to manage online reservations made through a third party” further added Mr. Nyström.

HOTREC therefore calls on the European Parliament and on the Council to tackle the issue and amend the Commission proposal accordingly. HOTREC considers, in particular, that the new Directive should clearly state that:

  • A transport component must be the constitutive element of a package travel; and
  • There is no mandatory right of withdrawal for combined tourism services, as it is the case for stand-alone tourism services covered by the EU Consumer Rights Directive.

 

 

What is HOTREC?

HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. This industry includes around 1,7 million businesses, of which 99.5% are small and medium sized enterprises (92% of them micro enterprises, i.e. employing fewer than 10 people). These businesses make up some 62% of industry value added. The hospitality industry provides some 9,5 million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is the 3rd largest industry in Europe.

HOTREC brings together 44 national associations representing the sector in 27 different European countries.                                                                                            

 

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