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THE PACKAGE TRAVEL REGULATIONS

QUESTION AND ANSWER GUIDANCE ON THE LAW RELATING TO PACKAGE TRAVEL
(REV 1)

1. What is a Package?

 
Question 1: From time to time I put together a holiday which I sell to a few friends and acquaintances. Am I caught?
Answer: Not if you do so only occasionally. The Regulations do not define what constitutes "occasionally", but it would be prudent to assume you are subject to the Regulations if you organised the package on a regular basis, even if it is done infrequently. (See definition of an "organiser" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 2: I am just putting together a holiday for members of my social club. Am I caught?
Answer: The Regulations apply to selling and offering for sale. If the members of the social group have agreed to share the cost of a package they have decided to organise themselves, and they have merely appointed you to organise the details, then you are unlikely to be selling or offering for sale the package - even though a surplus may be retained by the organisation to be disposed of as the members may decide. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 3: I have been approached by a friend to let out his villa in the South of France to holidaymakers during the summer. Is this a package?
Answer: Not if you provide only the accommodation. To create a package at least two of the following three components must be present: transport; accommodation; or other tourist service accounting for a significant proportion of the package. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 4: I organise day trips to stately homes and book charge a single price for the bus and entry. Is this a package?
Answer: No. For a package to be created the service must cover a period of more than twenty-four hours or include overnight accommodation. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 5: The consumer tells me exactly what he wants and I book it. Is this a package?
Answer: To fall within the scope of the Regulations the elements must also be "pre-arranged". If the elements are identified by the consumer and not more generally on offer as a possible package, they are not pre-arranged. For example, if the consumer specifies his own flight and where he wants to stay and the travel agent arranges this, the total service is not a package, even though the components are invoiced together. (See definition of a package in regulation 2(1).)
Question 6: I give the consumer a completely free choice from the options in my brochure. From these options he chooses where he stays and how he gets there. Is this a package?
Answer: In this case a package is likely to be created. To be "pre-arranged" the combination has to be put together by the organiser in advance of the conclusion of the contract. It does not however require the combination to be arranged before the consumer makes an enquiry. Tailor made packages can fall within the scope of the Regulations where the consumer relies on the skill and expertise of the organisers in combining two or more components to make a package. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 7: A customer asks me to book travel and accommodation for him under arrangements where the customer pays me for the transport but pays the hotel direct at the end of his stay. Is this a package?
Answer: No. To create a package the elements must be "sold at an inclusive price". But invoicing separately for the individual elements does not, by itself, unmake a package if the other criteria are in place. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 8: Can I escape the Regulations by giving separate invoices for the travel and accommodation?
Answer: No. Invoicing separately for the individual components does not, by itself, unmake a package if the other criteria are in place. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 9: Would putting on special Christmas entertainment for the guests in my hotel mean I am selling a package?
Answer: If the entertainment would be available to everybody who stayed at the hotel it would be regarded as a facility for all guests and not a tourist service. (See definition of a package in regulation 2(1).)
Question 10: I am thinking of putting on murder or similar 'theme' weekends. Would these be packages?
Answer: These are likely to be packages. Where a facility such as a theme weekend is restricted to only a few who book or pay in advance then it becomes a tourist service and may create a package. "Other tourist services" would form a significant proportion of the package if their presence or absence determined its nature and therefore influenced its purchase. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 11: Apart from providing accommodation all I do is collect people from the local railway station. Is this transport for the purpose of the Regulations?
Answer: Where guests have arranged their own transport by air, rail, etc., the provision of free transport to take hotel guests from the local airport or railway station to the hotel is unlikely to be a transport component which goes to create a package. This would probably be considered a facility offered by the hotel. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 12: I hire out my canal boat. People sleep on it and travel around on it. Is this a package?
Answer: The hire of a canal boat or motorised caravan by itself is simply the hire of goods by the customer for his private use. However, if you hire out bicycles, provide maps, book hotels at which participants will stay, this is a package if sold at an inclusive price. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 13: I take people sailing on my yacht and skipper it for them. Is this a package?
Answer: Yes. Where goods are provided as part of an offer of a combination which has been pre-arranged, such as a skippered tour by a yacht to named destinations, then this is likely to be a package. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 14: Are fly drive holidays packages?
Answer: Yes. The hire of a car, when offered in a pre-arranged combination with transport or accommodation, may constitute a tourist service and thus create a package. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 15: Is a berth on a cross-channel ferry accommodation?
Answer: No. The berth on a cross-channel ferry or sleeping accommodation on an overnight train is a facility. For "accommodation" to be an element in the creation of a package it needs to represent more than a facility which is ancillary to other aspects of an arrangement. (See definition of a "package" in regulation 2(1).)
Question 16: I sell packages to consumers in France. Do I need to comply with the Regulations?
Answer: The Regulations do not apply to packages sold in other countries by operators established in the UK. However the Regulations implement a European Directive which binds all member States. Similar provisions usually apply in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland and Austria. Norway and Iceland are also signatories. (See geographical coverage in regulation 3(1).)
Question 17: I sell packages to consumers in America. Do I need to comply.
Answer: The Regulations apply only to packages sold or offered for sale in the United Kingdom. If those things are done outside the United Kingdom the Regulations do not apply. It is not necessarily the case that, where the consumer who is buying the package is outside the United Kingdom, the package will necessarily be sold or offered for sale outside the United Kingdom. Individual cases will turn on their own facts. (See geographical coverage in regulation 3(1).)
Question 18: I sell packages to consumers in America but consumers add to their holidays when they are here.
Answer: If an organiser of incoming tours does sell a package to someone he has already brought into the country then that package will fall within the scope of the Regulations. (See geographical coverage in regulation 3(1).)


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Last revised 05 February 2002

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