Collective Commentary about the New Package Travel Directive
374 COLLECTIVE COMMENTARY ABOUT THE NEW PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE Nevertheless, this pleasant perspective can take a turn for the worse if events of varying gravity take place during the holiday. Many incidents are likely to ruin a holiday (for instance, an accident while taking an excursion, one’s travel documents being robbed, and even more tragically, as recent news can attest, terrorist attacks or natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.). Protecting travellers is accordingly one of the preoccupations of the European institutions, whether through the adoption of the Directive 2 or through European Court case law 3 , in particular when travellers find themselves in a difficult situation away from home in a foreign country. Hence, in order to improve the travellers’ rights, the Directive provides various detailed stipulations and information to be disclosed in the package contract. In particular, the European legislator decided to set an obligation for the organiser, and as the case may be for the retailer, to provide assistance to the travellers in difficulty while they are away from home 4 . The Directive clearly aims to achieve a high level of consumer protection 5 by adding a further, and specific, duty on travel professionals 6 . I. A BINDING CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO TRAVELLERS IN DIFFICULTY Following the adoption of the Directive and its transposition in member States legislation, the obligation to provide assistance became an express mention to be inserted into the package travel contract, along with other information like the one related to the contact details of the organiser and retailer, as well as the contact details of the local representative of the organiser 7 . In other words, the organiser or the retailer has to inform their clients that when they enter into a 2 Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of 25 November 2015 on package and linked travel arrangements (hereinafter “the Directive”). 3 E.g. case law rendered under the Directive No90/314: ECJ, 8 October 1996, joints cases C-178/94, C-179/94, C-188/94, C-189/94 et C-190/94, Erich Dillenkofer e.a.; ECJ, 12 March 2002, C-168/00, Simone Leitner v TUI Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG; ECJ, 30 April 2002, C-400/00, Club-Tour, Viagens e Turismo SA v Alberto Carlos Lobo Gonçalves Garrido; ECJ, 11 May 2011, C-32/10, Tony Georgiev Semerdzhiev v Del-Pi- -Krasimira Mancheva… 4 Article 16 of the Directive. 5 Recitals 3, 5, 37, 51, 52. 6 The organiser and the retailer also bear many other obligations, such as obligations to inform travellers, to compensate or indemnify the travellers, to offer them a remedy, to offer them insolvency protection, etc. 7 Article R.211-6 (2) and (4) of the French tourism code.