EC to revise package holiday directive

The European Commission will revise consumer regulations on the holiday industry with changes to the package travel directive.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kuneva has confirmed work on revising the directive will begin shortly, with legislation expected in 2010.

Kunleva told a meeting of the European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators' Associations in Sofia: "The package travel directive needs to be reviewed to take account of the changes in distribution of travel products and consumers' buying habits."

The existing directive, which dates from 1990, regulates the sales and marketing of traditional tour operators and travel retailers, but does not extend to online travel firms selling foreign holidays with flights and hotels as separate components - a practice referred to by the industry as dynamic packaging.

New ECTAA president Akis Kelepeshis said: "We strongly recommend the future package travel legislation covers dynamic packaging and extends the obligation of a financial guarantee to all providers of travel services. However, travel agents acting as intermediaries should not be held responsible for package travel product."

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