Industry, consumer groups, and others are taking part in extensive consultations on consumer protection. ETOA and its partners are putting the case for light-tough regulation and a replacement for the PTD that reduces the differences between countries. This is an opportunity for the EU to promote good standards and competitiveness within the EU and between the EU and other markets. It is important that we do not miss this opportunity.

ETOA has been invited to participate in the European Commission’s consultation process for reviewing the Package Travel Directive 1990. This is being carried out in the context of widespread consumer protection reform. Speaking at the ETOA conference in London, Tim Fairhurst, ETOA head of group tourism, said over half of holiday makers now made their arrangements outside the scope of the protection offered by the PTD. “Since 1990 there has been a lot more consumer protection introduced generally and the marketplace and consumer behaviour has changed beyond recognition,” he said. “The European Commission has recognized that the Package Travel Directive is no longer fit for purpose. European consumers will enjoy widespread protection through the very wide-ranging Consumer Rights Directive – which is a full harmonization measure, so will give an assurance of standards across the European Union.

“ETOA supports the need for consumer protection in financial matters for the sake of the consumer’s peace of mind and would urge the Commission to think very carefully when drafting new legislation designed specifically for the travel sector, given the range of consumer protection across the board.”