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22/07/14

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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Commission acts to improve consumer rights for 120 million holiday makers

child on the beach

Planning your summer vacation? You can do it with peace of mind. The EU is acting to make sure European consumers are protected- wherever they go on holiday. Thanks to EU rules on package travel, consumers are protected today when booking pre-arranged package holidays, such as combinations of flights, hotels, or car rentals. And today we are taking a step further, updating EU rules on package travel from 1990. This will give extra protection to people booking customised holidays online, and bring EU rules on package travel into the digital age.

The EU directive on package travel has been a milestone in consumer protection making sure that consumers can still get home if the travel agent goes bust. This EU law has been in place since 1990 helping millions of people enjoy stress-free holidays. 

However these rules are difficult to apply in an age when people are taking a more active role in their holiday plans by booking customised packages online. 23% of consumers today buy customised holidays which are put together by one or more commercially linked traders to suit the needs and preferences of the consumers. In these situations, buyers are uncertain if they can count on protection and traders are unclear of their obligations.

Today's reform will give extra protection to 120 million consumers, at the same time increasing transparency and strengthening cover in case something goes wrong. Businesses will also benefit: the Commission is scrapping outdated information requirements such as the need to reprint brochures, and making sure that national insolvency protection schemes are recognised across borders.

"EU package travel rules need to be fit for the digital age and meet consumers' expectations. Today we are boosting protection for millions of consumers booking customised travel arrangements", said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner.