The decree-law, which transposes a European directive, which defines the regime of access and activity of travel agencies and tourism, was published today in Diário da República (DR) and enters into force on July 1.
This Decree-Law transposes Directive 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on package travel and related travel services, amending Regulation (EU) No 2015/2302 ( EC) No 2006/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 2004 and Directive 2011/83 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 and repealing Directive 90/314 / EEC of the Council of 13 June 1990, “it states.
According to the decree-law, the purpose of the directive is to contribute to “the smooth functioning of the internal market and achieve a high and uniform level of consumer protection by approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States in agreements concluded between travelers and operators relating to package travel and related travel services “.
It also transposes the concept of related travel services, “through which travel services are facilitated by providing specific information, liability and protection obligations in the event of insolvency under defined circumstances.”
Thus, the concepts of package travel and related travel services are distinguished by “defining more precisely the concept of package travel,” they add, which covers “travel purchased from different agencies through interlinked online booking processes”.
The new regime also strengthens the right to pre-contractual information for travelers seeking to purchase package travel services.
“In this context, the Agency is obliged to provide standardized information which, in a clear, comprehensible and clearly visible way, describes essential travel information”, he explains.
The rules relating to changes in the terms of the travel contract and the detail of the rules regarding their non-compliance are also set out here, as well as the responsibility of the agencies for their implementation.
With regard to the right of cancellation, the conditions for the exercise of this right which can be made before the commencement of the package, either by travelers or by agencies, are extended.
“It is also necessary to adapt the rules applicable to the Guarantee Fund for Travel and Tourism in order to respond to the new requirements of guarantees of travelers and services marketed and covered by the Directive,” reads the decree-law.
In this field, “the amounts of the additional contributions are changed and more grades are created according to the volumes of service provided by travel and tourism agencies to ensure a more equitable distribution instead of the current situation where the effort required for all the agencies is disproportionate to its size, “it can be read further.
The Government states that for the transposition of the Directive, the governing bodies of the Autonomous Regions, the Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies, the Hotel Association of Portugal and the Association of Hotel Directors of Portugal were heard.
The hearing of the National Consumer Council was also promoted.