Travel packages: Council confirms political agreement
On 28 May 2015 the Council confirmed a political agreement on the reform of the Travel Package Directive.
The new directive will update current EU rules on package holidays by aiming to adapt to travel market developments in order to meet the needs of consumers and businesses in the digital era.
It will extend the protection for traditional packages to combinations of separate travel services, in particular if sold online.
Latvian Minister for Economics, Dana Reizniece-Ozola, made the following comments: "This piece of legislation will provide travellers and industry with the long-awaited framework which is fit for purpose and future-proof for the ever growing and evolving tourism industry. In particular, it will strengthen the rights of travellers when booking online and take into account new ways of booking. Beside strengthened consumer rights, businesses, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, will also benefit from this Directive".
The new conditions will promote a level playing field for businesses by harmonising rules and removing obstacles to cross-border trade. This will generate a broader choice for booking holiday products and may therefore lead to cheaper prices for consumers.
The European Parliament is expected to confirm the text of the Council's political agreement with a vote in second reading at an upcoming plenary session.
The text will undergo a legal-linguist revision before the Council can formally approve it. It should be published in the Official Journal of the EU before end 2015.
The new provisions will apply 30 months after the entry into force of the directive.