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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Šuica: Mitigate new regulations for Croatian hoteliers

Member of the Committee for Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament, Dubravka Šuica, recently responded to appeals from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce concerning the future of Croatian hoteliers. In a written statement, she warned the Commission about oversights in Directive on package holidays and assisted travel arrangements and she sought reconsideration of the Directive so as not to jeopardize the future of Croatian and European seasonal tourism.

In the letter she pointed out that Croatian tourism finds itself with the biggest problem of all EU Member States due to the seasonality of tourism and accommodation in hotels. ˝Why does the Commission allow for termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer in the Directive on consumer rights related to airlines, while in the Directive on package tours it does not allow termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer? I believe that this is discriminatory and that this can potentially harm Croatian and European tourism,˝ said Šuica in her question to the Commission.


˝The Commission would like to point out that the termination right contained in Article 10 (1) of the proposed Directive applies exclusively to packages and not to ordinary hotel bookings. It does not "aim to abolish special hotel promotions" and applies irrespective of whether the organiser of the package is, for instance, a tour operator, an airline or a hotel.  It does, however, grant package travellers a general right to terminate a package travel contract against an appropriate fee. Following the vote of the European Parliament on 12 March 2014 and the Council's general approach of 4 December 2014, it is now the responsibility of the co-legislators to agree on the most appropriate solutions in the new directive˝, replied Commissioner Jourová on behalf of the Commission.


The issue is that hoteliers in Croatia do not agree with the proprosal of article 10 for a Directive which, in practice, wants to abolish special promotions by hoteliers such as, for example, early or late booking, because it excludes the possibility of termination of the arrangements at the expense of the customer. The point is that usually hoteliers offer such promotional arrangements at prices much lower than usual, but without the possibility of termination of the contract to the detriment of the hoteliers.


A similar practice exists in the sales of airline tickets when the customer can decide between several options. The adoption of this proposal for hoteliers would apply a Directive on package holidays that does not allow termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer, whiole for airlines, the Directive on consumer rights, would allow for termination of the contract to the detriment of the customer.

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