Collective Commentary about the New Package Travel Directive

Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on package travel and assisted travel arrangements, amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004, Directive 2011/83/EU and repealing Council Directive 90/314/EEC {SWD(2013) 263 final} {SWD(2013) 264 final} {SWD(2013) 266 final} EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM 1. CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSAL 1.1. General context Tourism plays a central role in Europe’s economy today. With some 1.8 million businesses, mostly SMEs, employing 5.2% of the total workforce, the European tourism industry is an engine for growth in the EU. The total contribution of European travel & tourism, including related sectors, accounts for around 10% of EU GDP 1 . The adoption of Directive 90/314/EEC on package travel 2 in 1990 created important rights for European travellers purchasing package holidays, typically consisting of passenger transport and accommodation. A 2002 ruling by the European Court of Justice 3 clarified that the notion of “pre-arranged combination” covers also travel services combined by a travel agent at the customer’s express request just before the conclusion of a contract between the two. Directive 90/314/EEC ensures that consumers receive essential information before and after signing a package travel contract. It provides that organisers and/or retailers are responsible for the proper performance of the package, even if the services are provided by sub-contractors, and regulates what happens if there are changes to the package travel contract. It also ensures that travellers receive a refund of pre-payments and are repatriated in the event of the organiser’s and/or retailer’s insolvency. 1 Commission’s Communication “Europe – n°1 world tourist destination – A new political framework for tourism in Europe” COM (2010) 352 final of 30.06.2010. 2 Council Directive 90/314/EEC of 13 June 1990 on package travel, package holidays and package tours. 3 Club-Tour Case C-400/00 of 30 April 2002. Appendix 3