Industry Statement

Broad Tourism Sector Coalition Expresses Concerns Over Revision of the Package Travel Directive

This week, eu travel tech together with a broad coalition of organisations representing travel intermediaries and service providers from sectors including accommodation, attractions, and transport voiced significant concerns regarding the proposed amendments to the Package Travel Directive (PTD), adopted in November 2023 by the European Commission.

The revision of the PTD is a response to the challenges travelers faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as delays in reimbursements. While the intention to strengthen EU’s legal frameworks for future crises is commendable, the current proposal could destabilise the delicate balance of the European tourism ecosystem, potentially leading to more harm than benefit to travelers.

In a statement shared with relevant representatives from the Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament, the signing organisations highlight two main issues with the current PTD proposal that would require careful consideration. Firstly, the revised definition of ‘package’ which could create confusion among both package organisers, service providers and consumers about the nature of the products and services being sold. The proposal expands significantly this definition, making the separate purchase of single travel services become a package when such purchases are made within a certain timeframe. This would come with higher costs for consumers, less flexibility and extensive tracking of their activities online.

Additionally, the proposal limits pre-payments for travel packages to no more than 25% of the total price, unless certain circumstances apply. Such provision does not take into account the dynamics of the travel and tourism sector where pre-payments are essential for the viability of many businesses, and puts additional burden on organisers, despite the numerous safeguards that the PTD already offers to consumers.

The signatories urgently call on the European Parliament and the Council to revisit and amend these provisions. It is critical to ensure that any new regulations not only enhance consumer protection but also support the growth and sustainability of the tourism sector, which plays a crucial role in the economic prosperity of Europe.

The European Commission, Parliament, and Council should engage with all stakeholders in the tourism sector to discuss the proposed changes and explore viable solutions that protect and promote the sector’s competitiveness and viability.

“Jointly with all signatories, we look forward to a constructive dialogue that ensures the PTD amendments support a robust, flexible, and thriving European tourism sector,” said Emmanuel Mounier, eu travel tech Secretary General.