European Parliament extends "package" holiday traveller protection


The current EU Package Travel Directive (90/314/EEC) rules on package holidays date back to 1990. Since then, the growth in cheap flights and internet sales has significantly changed the way travellers plan and buy holidays.

The updated directive would clarify the rules to take account of new buyer behaviour and broaden the definition of package holidays to encompass most types of travel arrangements made up of various elements, so as to protect holidaymakers in the event of problems.

This directive interests us as it places a considerable burden on European Union tour operators to ensure that their suppliers at each destination deliver safe products and services to the client. So there was the incident in 2011 in which a Belgian boy of 11 years old drowned in Tunisia drawn by the filtering system of the swimming pool of the hotel. Jetair, the tour operator who had sold the holiday package to the family, was held responsible for the incident, based on the directive 90/314/EEC (article 5) which says that a travel organization is responsible for the correct execution of the contract as well as for actions of negligence of its attendants and its representatives.