Despite our best efforts the new Package Travel Regulations are due to come into force on 1 July 2018. Ahead of this, BEIS is developing guidance on the application of the new Regulations, which it is planning publish after the Easter break. This will apply if a business is providing packages, combinations of two or more of the following products – travel, accommodation, rental car and “other Tourism Service”. For “Value-Added” products (Accommodation and Other Tourism Service) a package is only formed when the Other Tourism Service is “significant”. we await guidance as to how BEIS define “significant”?
The new regulations also introduce a new category of package called a “Linked Travel Arrangement” whereby a business facilitates a customer purchasing two different types of product through the separate selection and payment of each product. This could impact on how DMOs sell their members’ products on their website.
A Linked Travel Arrangement is also formed when a customer, having purchased a product on one website, is invited to purchase another product on another website. This could impact how tourism businesses provide information and links to other local tourism businesses. For example, if a customer purchased accommodation from a B&B, and was sent a confirmation saying “We look forward to seeing you on the 30 June, if you want to purchase tickets to the local attraction or book a meal in the local pub, here’s their websites”, this could constitute a Linked Travel Arrangement.