The current Package Travel Regulations (PTR) are undergoing a review process with revised regulations expected later this year.
The Commission’s original review consultation in 2009 sought opinions from the travel industry on the scope of the Package Travel Directive (PTD), the financial protection consumers should expect from travel agents and tour operators, who should be responsible for consumer problems, the level of information that consumers should be provided with and other aspects of how the sector operates.
The review was long overdue as the way consumers book and arrange their holidays has changed drastically since the early 1990s, when the regulations were first introduced.
Since then the Commission has continued to develop its policy options with momentum seemingly supporting broad reform of the PTD.
Whilst package holidays remain popular, new markets in terms of both products and how they are sold have emerged, mainly due to the internet. This has enabled airlines, hotels, tour operators and other travel organisations to promote and sell their products directly to consumers in different ways and often avoiding intermediaries.
'Dynamic packages' have also become an attractive option for consumers since they allow them to tailor their holiday to suit their individual tastes and requirements and to purchase holidays and short breaks in their component parts. Sometimes the components are from the same provider but equally they may be from different ones. These holidays do not fall within the traditional definition of a package and this inevitably causes uncertainty when considering the application of the Regulations.
We will provide updates as further news emerges.