Regulators are today being urged by Tui Travel to simplify the Package Travel Directive to make it easier to understand for both customers and the industry.
Europe’s largest travel group is calling for two clear categories of package holiday cover – full cover and no cover – with all of the so called ‘Assisted Travel Arrangements’ treated as full packages.
Group legal director Mike Bowers is expected to make the comments this morning at a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast.
Tui wants the Council of Ministers and European Parliament to make the change to prevent confusion.
It is calling for greater clarity and simplification of the directive and a “level playing field” across the industry for all of those involved in putting together more than one element of a holiday.
The company welcomes The European Commission’s proposal to expand the scope of cover for travellers who have booked package holidays, but is cautious about the proposed introduction of the ‘Assisted Travel Arrangements’ category.
Tui fears this new category risks creating even more confusion among customers and the travel industry over who is covered and the level of protection.
Bowers is expected to say: “There are plenty of customers out there now who are unknowingly booking holidays without protection.
“We believe that it is important for travellers to be protected but it should be clear and simple to avoid confusion.
“The European Commission is looking into this to ensure more people are in scope and they have mostly done a good job proposing to expand the scope so if it broadly resembles a holiday, it’s a package.
“Yet the introduction of another category, Assisted Travel Arrangements, adds complexity.
“It is also difficult to understand what’s really within it or even what it really means. This is confusing for customers and industry.”
Tui argues that the directive as it stands does not incorporate the vastly different ways people book their holidays nor the multiple providers involved in delivering a package holiday.
Introduced in 1990, the directive was created at a time before the internet was widely used and when no low-cost carriers existed, and is therefore universally recognised as out of date.
Over the years fewer travellers have been protected as it failed to keep up with the changing nature of the travel landscape and the broadening definition of a package holiday.
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