Package Travel Directive and regulations
The Package Travel Directive (PTD) came into effect in 1990 and its provisions were introduced into UK law through the Package Travel Regulations (PTR) in 1992.
The PTD and PTR introduced requirements on the organisers and sellers of package holidays to provide greater protection to purchasers of package holidays in three main areas:
- The provision of information
- Financial protection and repatriation in the event of company failure
- A specific regime for contractual liability in respect of package holidays.
The PTD and PTR have contributed significantly to consumer protection rights since their introduction. However, following major changes in the marketplace for travel services, they are now under review.
Revision of the Package Travel Directive
On 9 July 2013 the European Commission published proposals for a revised Directive on ‘Package Holidays and Assisted Travel Arrangements’.
ABTA undertook a thorough consultation with Members in summer 2013, seeking views on the proposed Directive. The responses received and discussions conducted have guided our approach in regular meetings with policymakers in both Brussels and Westminster. In particular, we are seeking additional clarity around the definitions of the key concepts, such as Assisted Travel Arrangements and what constitutes a package within the proposed Directive. We are also lobbying on other issues identified by Members where amendments to the current text are required.
In Europe, the European Parliament and Council have now adopted their own amended texts and will be negotiating to find agreement on a finalised Directive over the coming months. It is expected that the new Directive will be adopted around summer 2015, with implementation in UK law expected to be complete by late 2017. ABTA will remain closely engaged as the negotiations proceed and will keep Members updated.
ABTA Members can follow developments in the revision process through regular updates in ABTA Today. You can also watch our PTD video for more information.
If you’re an ABTA Member and you would like to ask us a specific question around the revision of PTD, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Package Travel Regulations
Responsibility for implementation of the PTRs lies with the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). For most flight-based package holidays, the security for the
protection of customer money is provided by the Air Transport Organisers’ Licensing scheme managed by the Civil Aviation Authority. The ATOL scheme in the UK has recently been reformed; please visit the ATOL reform page for more information. Once the revised Package Travel Directive has been adopted, the UK Government will have around 24 months to update the PTRs to reflect the changes.
It is likely that the revision process will have ramifications for the recently revised ATOL scheme within the UK. If this is the case, ATOL would have to be amended to comply with a revised Directive.