Brussels, 28 January 2013
Package travel rights: Commission examines options
The European Commission will this week meet with consumer groups and business leaders in the travel industry to discuss the review of the current EU legislation on package holidays. The 1990 Package Travel Directive protects European consumers booking pre-arranged package holidays. For example, the rules ensure that holidaymakers will always get home even if a tour operator goes bust.
Over the last years, the development of the internet and the emergence of low-cost air carriers have revolutionised the way in which people organise their holidays. An increasing number of EU citizens, in addition to buying pre-arranged packages, now put together their holidays themselves. These changes in the travel market, in particular the impact of online booking, mean that the overall proportion of holidaymakers booking traditional package holidays, and therefore protected by the Directive, has fallen. The Commission is therefore examining three main options: modernising the current legislation, leaving it as it is, or scrapping it entirely.
Following this week’s final stakeholder consultations, Vice-President Viviane Reding, in liaison with Vice-President Antonio Tajani, intend to decide on next steps in late Spring.
The Package Travel Directive (90/314/EEC) protects European consumers going on holiday and covers pre-arranged package holidays combining at least two of the following: (1) transport, (2) accommodation (3) other tourist services such as sightseeing tours (sold at an inclusive price and when the service covers more than 24 hours or includes an overnight stay).
The Directive provides protection covering: information requirements, liabilities for services (e.g. sub-standard hotels) and protection (reimbursement of sums paid or repatriation) in the case of a tour operator or airline going bust.
The Commission launched a public consultation on the revision of the Directive in November 2009 (IP/09/1824). The consultation focused on possible ways of solving the main limitations of the existing package travel rules. It also aimed to quantify the impact of various possible legislative options.
On 22 April 2010 the Commission held a workshop and on 5 June 2012 a conference with stakeholders on the revision of the Package Travel Directive.
For more information
European Commission – package travel directive:
Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner:
Justice Directorate General Newsroom: