Next January 1, 2018, ends the deadline for the transposition of a 2015 EU Directive on package travel and related travel services, which contemplates the new legal framework applicable to contracting through the Internet. The Council of Ministers has also approved the urgent processing of this Draft Law to comply with the aforementioned deadline.
This modification will entail the change in the consolidated text of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers or Users and other complementary laws.
The Directive repeals the existing EU regulations on package travel, package holidays and package tours and establishes a new legal framework on the subject, to increase consumer protection and transparency, eliminating ambiguities and filling in some existing legislative gaps; it is about raising the level of protection of the rights of travellers, who will receive all the essential information about the package trip before concluding the contract.
These are the main advantages for travellers:
- There will always be, at least one entrepreneur responsible for the proper execution of all travel services included in the contract.
- Travellers will be provided with an emergency phone number or contact information where they can contact. The organizer and the retailer must provide assistance to the traveller in case he is in difficulties.
- The price of the combined trip can only be increased if specific expenses occur only if it is expressly stipulated in the contract, and in no case in the last twenty days prior to the start of the package.
- Travellers can terminate the contract without paying any penalty and also obtain full reimbursement of all payments made if any of the essential elements of the package is changed significantly other than the price and the traveller should be offered suitable alternative formulas at no additional cost .
- If the entrepreneur responsible for the combined trip cancels it before its start, travellers will be entitled to reimbursement of the payments made and, where appropriate, to compensation. Travellers may also terminate the contract at any time before the start of the trip by paying a termination penalty that is adequate and justifiable.
- In exceptional circumstances, for example in the case of serious security problems that may affect the package in the place of destination, travellers may terminate the contract before the start of the package without paying any penalty.