If you offer inclusive - or package - holidays and breaks to your guests, you have to comply with the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.
The regulations set out your legal responsibilities to your customers relating to the marketing, booking and delivery of your package. They also include remedies available to your customers should you breach the law.
What is a 'package' holiday?
The definition of a 'package' in package holiday terms is complex. It can include big overseas 'all inclusive' deals, but it can also cover small accommodation providers offering domestic packages, such as weekend breaks.
You probably offer a 'package' if your service:
- is pre-arranged
- is on offer or for sale at an inclusive price
- covers a period of at least 24 hours, or includes overnight accommodation
- includes at least two of the following - transport, accommodation and other significant services
What are 'other significant services'?
Other significant services can include services such as excursions, riding lessons, theatre tickets, car hire, or access to a golf course or entertainment facilities. If you provide these services to guests who have paid for them in advance and as part of the cost of their holiday, or as a feature of the holiday, they will be classed as other significant services.
Package travel law
The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 contain provisions relating to the marketing, booking and delivery of the package.
These provisions give details of:
- minimum information which you need to include in your brochure or promotional materials, provide to your customers before the booking is made, and provide in good time
- the contents of your booking conditions and booking form
- arrangements for transfers of bookings, cancellations, price revisions, surcharges, and other significant changes to the arrangements
- your liability for not providing the services agreed, or for the quality of service(s) your suppliers provide to customers
- security of guests' monies in the event of the insolvency of your business, for example bonding, insurance and holding monies in trust
Failure to comply with the Package Travel Regulations is a criminal offence. Trading Standards Officers are responsible for enforcing the regulations.