Beginning today, travelers visiting the European Union may notice some positive changes to the travel industry infrastructure. In an effort to increase transparency and keep up to date with the travel industry in the digital age, the EU tourism council has updated its policies in regards to how travel packages can be sold, giving consumers a wider array of protections from malicious sales tactics.
European countries are amongst the most visited places in the world by tourists, as they provide a near-perfect balance of rich history, idyllic countryside landscapes, modern bustling cities, and diverse cultures. Unfortunately for eager vacation-goers, the current tourism protection laws in the EU are outdated, and can allow businesses to take advantage of travelers with deceptively worded travel package contracts.
The new directive aims to benefit tourists by mandating cheaper, better organized travel packages, and increasing contractual transparency by disclosing all fees and obligations more prominently. The new rules also allow travelers to purchase different services from a number of businesses to make their own custom package, but under a single contract. Additionally, if the services are bought under different contracts, the traders would share their client details to provide better, more comprehensive services. Furthermore, the new rules call for businesses to alert their customers of their rights and obligations at the end of each contract. The rules would also exercise control over package pricing.
It's also expected that travelers will gain better rights over unexpected contract terminations. Businesses will have to fully refund customers if there is local unrest or a natural mishap in their vacation destination. However, if a traveler cancels the contract, he or she will be liable for a small termination fee. In addition, travelers will be properly accommodated, if they are unable to return home on time due to uncontrollable circumstances. In order to enforce these new regulations, travel businesses will be expected to report to their respective local governments, and can be penalized for not delivering quality services to customers, or for failing to meet any of the guidelines laid down in the new mandate.
The new mandate is currently under review by the EU parliament, and is expected to be approved by late 2015, after which an additional 30 months grace-period is required before the law will take effect. Unfortunately, the slow process of enacting this law may make it obsolete before it ever takes effect, as the rate at which new technology is developed may lead to changes to industry standards, and could require revisions to the EU tourism council's mandate. Regardless of the mandate's expected land date, bolstering consumer protection rights in the travel industry is a massive step forward and will help to eliminate predatory business habits, ensuring that more and more people can enjoy the personal growth and increased cultural understanding afforded by traveling the world.
At Auto Europe, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide not only the best travel deals and unbeatable car rental rates to our customers, but we're also proud of our commitment to transparency--clearly explaining all applicable car rental fees, and helping clients understand their rental contract. With agents available via phone 24/7, we are here to serve all your travel needs, before, during, and after your trip.