Most often YOUR holiday plans are connected with different services of tourism agencies. YOU can acquire information from the consultants representing tourism agencies and by examining different home pages on the Internet in order to make the best choice. We would like to give YOU some advice on booking the package holiday services and concluding the agreement with tourism operator.
YOUR rights are protected by:
- Directive 90/314/EEK of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe on package traveling, holidays and excursions.
- The Law on Tourism, Consumer Rights Protection Law, Cabinet of Republic of Latvia Regulation No. 353 “Regulations Regarding the Rights and Duties of Tourism Operators, Tourism Agents and Clients, the Procedures for the Preparation and Implementation of a Package Tourism Service, the Information to be Provided to a Client and the Procedures for Deposition of Security Guarantee of Money”.
Package service – means the combination of at least two services stated below that has been prepared in order to be sold or offered for selling for one price and is related to time period longer than twenty four hours or includes lodging:
• accommodation services,
• other tourism services that are not connected to the transport or accommodation services and that form a proportionally remarkable part of the package service.SERVICE PROGRAM (BROCHURE)
When a brochure is made available to the consumer, it shall indicate in a legible, comprehensible and accurate manner both the price and adequate information concerning:
1) the destination and the means, characteristics and categories of transport used;
2) the type of accommodation, its location, category or degree of comfort and its main features, its approval and tourist classification under the rules of the host Member State concerned;
3) the meal plan;
4) the itinerary;
5) general information on passport and visa requirements for nationals of the Member State or States concerned and health formalities required for the journey and the stay;
6) either the monetary amount or the percentage of the price which is to be paid on account, and the timetable for payment of the balance;
7) whether a minimum number of persons is required for the package to take place and, if so, the deadline for informing the consumer in the event of cancellation.
The particulars contained in the brochure are binding on the organizer or retailer, unless:
– changes in such particulars have been clearly communicated to the consumer before conclusion of the contract, in which case the brochure shall expressly state so,
– changes are made later following an agreement between the parties to the contract.AGREEMENT WITH TOURISM OPERATOR
A tourism operator and a client shall enter into a contract regarding a service.
A contract shall specify:
- the name, address and registration number in the database of the tourism operator;
- the name, address and registration number in the database of the tourism agent (if such exists);
- the name, address and contract number of the insurer or guarantor of the money deposited by the client, as well as the person to be contacted while travelling, if prior to the declaration of the insolvency proceedings the tourism operator cannot completely or partially fulfil the contractual obligations to the client or the fulfilment of the programme of services indicated in the contract is not possible due to the insolvency of the tourism operator;
- the final destinations of the travel;
- the time for the provision of the service, as well as specific dates of the places of stay according to the itinerary;
- the time period until which the tourism operator or the tourism agent shall inform the client regarding the cancellation of the travel where a certain number of participants in the travel is required and such is not sufficient;
- the travel itinerary, as well as the time and point of departure and return;
- the type and the level of comfort of the means of transport (vehicles);
- the classification of the tourist accommodation in the relevant country, the location (region, city) and the characteristics of the level of comfort;
- excursions and other activities included in the price of the service;
- the price of the service (possible changes shall be indicated), as well as information regarding taxes, fees and other payments that are not included in the price of the service;
- provisions for payment for the service;
- the date until which cancellation of the service is possible, and the percentage retention from the paid sum;
- the type of insurance chosen by the client;
- the special requirements of the client which he or she has communicated to the tourism operator (with or without a tourism agent as an intermediary) when making the booking, and which both parties to the contract have accepted;
- the time period specified in the regulatory enactments regarding consumer protection during which the client is entitled to submit a claim regarding provision of a service not conforming to the contractual provisions, as well as the addressee to which the claim is to be submitted; and
- the procedures for entering into effect of the contract.
An integral part of a contract shall be information regarding the procedures for repayment of the security guarantee of money deposited by a client, as well as delivering of the client to the country where the journey began (if another country has not been indicated in the contract), if prior to the declaration of the insolvency proceedings the tourism operator cannot completely or partially fulfil the contractual obligations to the client or the fulfilment of the programme of services indicated in the contract is not possible due to the insolvency of the tourism operator.BEFORE DEPARTURE
Before signing the agreement the tourism operator or its representative have to give the consumer (YOU) general information on visa and passport requirements of the citizens of EU member states or other countries in writing or in other responsible way. Special attention also has to be paid to the time limits, what it takes to fulfill these requirements, and the necessary medical formalities related to the journey and stay in the selected country.
Duly before the departure the tourism operator or its representative have to provide the consumer (YOU) with following information in writing or other responsible way:
- stopovers and transfer time and place;
- the name, address and telephone number of the tourism operator/the local representative/the local agency where the consumer can turn to if he experiences problems during the journey. If there are no such representatives or local agencies, the consumer shall anyway be informed about the telephone number he can call in case of emergency;
- in case, there are minors traveling or staying abroad, the consumer has the right to obtain all necessary information on how to contact the tourism operator/its representative/the child/the tutor directly in the corresponding country;
- the choice and procedure of obtaining the insurance certificate to cover the cancellation fee or receive relief payments, including repatriation in case of illness or accident.
The change of price is acceptable only in case there are changes in:
• transport expenses including the cost of fuel;
• taxes, duties or fees for certain services, such as airport and harbour dues;
• exchange rate applicable for the certain package holiday service.
The price for services indicated in the agreement cannot be increased later than 20 days before the departure.CHANGES IN PACKAGE HOLIDAY SERVICES
If the organizer finds that before the departure he is constrained to alter significantly any of the essential terms, such as the price, he shall notify the consumer as quickly as possible in order to enable him to take appropriate decisions and in particular:
- either to withdraw from the contract without penalty,
- or to accept a rider to the contract specifying the alterations made and their impact on the price.
The consumer shall inform the organizer or the retailer of his decision as soon as possible.
If the consumer withdraws from the contract for whatever cause, other than the fault of the consumer, the organizer cancels the package before the agreed date of departure, the consumer shall be entitled:
- either to take a substitute package of equivalent or higher quality where the organizer and/or retailer is able to offer him such a substitute. If the replacement package offered is of lower quality, the organizer shall refund the difference in price to the consumer;
- or to be repaid as soon as possible all sums paid by him under the contract.
Where, after departure, a significant proportion of the services contracted for is not provided or the organizer perceives that he will be unable to procure a significant proportion of the services to be provided, the organizer shall make suitable alternative arrangements, at no extra cost to the consumer, for the continuation of the package, and where appropriate compensate the consumer for the difference between the services offered and those supplied.
If it is impossible to make such arrangements or these are not accepted by the consumer for good reasons, the organizer shall, where appropriate, provide the consumer, at no extra cost, with equivalent transport back to the place of departure, or to another return-point to which the consumer has agreed and shall, where appropriate, compensate the consumer.