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Package travel

The standards applying to package travel, package holidays and package tours in the European Union (EU) have been harmonised, thus enabling consumers to purchase these services with a maximum of guarantees within the internal market.


Council Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays and package tours.


A package requires the following two conditions to be met: the service provided must cover a period of more than twenty-four hours and must be sold at an inclusive price.

Consumer information

Any brochure made available to the consumer must indicate clearly and accurately:

  • the price;
  • the destination, the itinerary and the means of transport used;
  • the type of accommodation;
  • the meal plan;
  • the passport and visa requirements;
  • the health formalities;
  • the timetable for payment;
  • the deadline for informing the consumer in the event of cancellation.

The information contained in the brochure is binding on the organiser. In the case of amendments to this information, the consumer must be clearly informed so that they can demonstrate their agreement.

Before the contract is concluded, the organiser is required to provide, in writing, certain information on passports, visas (periods for obtaining them) and health formalities.

Before the start of the journey, the organiser must supply in writing:

  • the times and places of intermediate stops and transport connections as well as details of the place to be occupied by the traveller;
  • the name, address and telephone number of the organiser's local representative or, failing that, an emergency telephone number;
  • certain additional details in the case of journeys involving minors;
  • information on optional contracts covering insurance or assistance.

Changes to the contract

The consumer may transfer his or her booking to another person who satisfies all the conditions required by the package. The organiser or retailer must be informed within a reasonable period before departure. The transferor of the package and the transferee shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of the balance due and for any possible additional costs.

The prices stipulated in the contract may not be changed unless the contract expressly provides for the possibility. In such a case, only variations in transportation costs, dues, taxes or fees chargeable and exchange rates may be reflected in the price.

If the organiser alters the contract significantly, the consumer may either withdraw from the contract without penalty or accept a rider to the contract.

Cancellation or failure to perform the contract

If the consumer withdraws from the contract or if the organiser cancels the package, the consumer has the right either to take an alternative package or to be reimbursed the sums paid. Where appropriate, the consumer is entitled to be compensated for non-performance of the contract.

The organiser is effectively responsible for the failure to perform or the improper performance of the contract, except where the consumer is at fault or for reasons of force majeure.


ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Directive 90/314/EEC



OJ L 158, 23.12.1992


Directive 2005/29/ECof 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market and amending Directives 84/450/EEC, 97/7/EC, 98/27/EC and 2002/65/EC and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 ('Unfair Commercial Practices Directive') [Official Journal L 149 of 11.06.2005].

Agreement on the European Economic Area - Annex II – Technical regulations, standards, tests and certifications – List provided for by Article 23 [Official Journal L 1 of 3.1.1994].
Directive 85/577/EEC is incorporated by the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). It thus applies to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Last updated: 04.05.2011

See also

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