Jun 8, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Controversial German directive passes with reduced sting

Controversial German directive passes with reduced sting
6 Jun 2017 – Tourism Update
The EU package travel directive was passed into German law last week.
The German travel trade were taken by surprise late last week when the controversial EU package travel directive (PTD), expected to drag on for some months yet, was passed by the German Bundestag.
On a positive note, German travel and hospitality associations were successful in removing and amending the most detrimental regulations contained in earlier versions, despite a lack of unity in their ranks.
The directive passed through its second and third reading in the early hours of June 2, in a process that took less than two minutes, reports Reinhart Mecklenburg of AfroSales Tourism Marketing Services. The new national law comes into effect on July 1, 2018.
In its original form, the directive threatened to entrench the power of Germany’s dominant tour operators, reintroduce exclusive agreements which have been banned in the country since 1994, and force retailers to take on the liabilities of tour operators.
“The first reaction by Germany’s travel trade associations waivers between ‘Not nice, but at least better than the original draft issued by Brussels’ and ‘Let’s go ahead and live with this admin monster’,” commented Mecklenburg.
A laudable reaction, he said, came from the country’s largest travel agents’ alliance, Quality Travel Alliance (QTA), which lost little time in announcing that its legal experts would draw up a detailed information bulletin for its 8 000 retail travel agency members. QTA will also provide substantial online and offline training for counter staff.
“In terms of the working relationship with the Southern African hospitality industry, not much changes,” states Mecklenburg. “The heavy administration onus is 100% on the German agent.
“One aspect that might be of common interest is the fact that outbound tour operators may increase published selling prices by 8% up to four months prior to the date of travel.

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