Everyone is aware of the devastating effects COVID 19 is having around the world, but if you scratch below the surface of the health and economic problems caused and you’ll see numerous ripple effects which are severely impacting on the quality of our lives. This includes severe travel restrictions which were put into place in March that are unlikely to lift for the foreseeable future. Thousands of individuals and families have had their holiday and travel plans for this year put on hold or cancelled.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) want to help consumers stay informed. Perhaps now more than ever, consumers should be aware of their rights and have the support and resource to help them navigate the numerous laws and regulations concerning travel and holidays, which can sometimes prove to be a nightmare to traverse.
And for travel operators and organisers, it should be a priority that all staff are well versed in their responsibilities and obligations to customers under consumer law.
This is why CTSI and BEIS have published a new free guide, ‘Practical holiday law: Guidance for business’.
While it is designed specifically for businesses within the travel industry, it contains a wealth of important information for travelers and holidaymakers, including useful information such as:
definitions of travel law terminology
information about payment surcharges
the use of credit cards
guidance on complaint resolution
detailed information about the 2018 Package Travel Regulations (PTRs).
These cover Package and Linked Travel Arrangements which is a relatively new and potentially complicated area that the guide can help consumers to navigate.
Bruce Treloar, CTSI Lead Officer for Holiday and Travel Law, says:
“Package holidays and Linked Travel Arrangements are complex combinations of travel services. Different service providers, for example airlines and hotels, are often involved and a problem with the delivery of one service may affect the delivery of the others.
“One of the major problems is the need for businesses to accept that separate purchases of travel services will come under the new rules.”
Experts in travel law
The guide features case studies and real-life examples of where a knowledge of consumer rights can ensure that all parties – whether travel providers or travelers themselves – are satisfied. Compiled by experts in travel law, these include getting the wording of promotions right and perhaps most importantly right now - travel operators’ responsibilities to their customers with regard to cancellations.
There are also plenty of other useful facts and pieces of information which will prove helpful to both consumers and operators, making the guide a very handy resource, particularly at this time but also for the future where it could prove to be an invaluable travelling companion for consumers.
‘Practical holiday law: Guidance for business’ has been produced as part of CTSI’s Business Companion website, a free online resource designed to offer information and guidance to businesses of all sizes about their responsibilities towards consumers.
Travel Preparation Tips
With the so-called by many as the “new normal,” it’s a must to strictly comply with health and safety protocols of the government you're planning to visit. New normal after the COVID-19 would mean a new way of living, incorporating stricter health, and safety measures, like wearing face masks at all times and frequent handwashing. Expect stringent guidelines in entering cities and countries, even with the gradually returning tourism industry.
Check out these travel preparation tips for your reference:
Book Early: Koala highlights the importance of early reservation. With so many people who were under lockdowns and community quarantines, there's a thirst for travel once everything starts to go back to normal, or at the very least, the modified or new normal.
Know the Existing Travel Guidelines: As mentioned, it's important to know the existing travel guidelines of the place you want to travel to be fully prepared. It’ll help set your expectations and prepare the essential things you need to carry in your luggage.
Confirm Bookings: A week and a day before your trip, make sure to confirm your bookings and reservations. Because the course of coronavirus is still under study, there could be a sudden increase in cases that would immediately halt events in the travel industry.
Visit Your Doctor: As much as possible, you have to take a self-imposed rapid test for coronavirus before traveling. Check availability of a rapid testing facility in your local area to save you time, money, and effort once you're ready for the big day but realized you have positive results.
Carry First Aid Kit: Now more than ever, health and safety must be prioritized. While you want to travel the world as you probably have dreamed of since you were a child, never compromise your health and safety. Make sure to bring first aid kit, which includes care supplies, prescription medicine, health devices you need, like glucometer for diabetics, and supply of face masks and gloves.