3rd November 2010

There’s Packaging then there’s ‘dynamic packaging’...

The Package Travel Regulations, with a few exceptions, apply to the sale of all packages that contain two of the following three elements – transport, accommodation and significant activities. So, what’s the difference between packaging and ‘dynamic packaging’? Dynamic Packaging is the term used to describe customers that build their own packages. How could this affect your business?

The existing Package Travel Regulations make the company selling the package legally responsible for all components of the package (even if you don’t provide them), and you’re required to have a payment protection scheme in place so that customers are protected if the company goes bust.

But the regulations have been called ‘arcane’ by Kurt Jansen, Policy Director from the Tourism Alliance, commenting in the November/December 2010 issue of Destination UK; “The problem with the Regulations is that they were born in a world where ‘dynamic packaging’ didn’t exist.”

Consider this scenario, “You own a small country hotel and on your website you have information about all the great activities that visitors can undertake in the countryside... As a service to your customers you add a link to the websites for these businesses...Is this dynamic packaging? Here is the crux of the problem the EU will have to resolve. How do you provide protection to customers who undertake dynamic packaging while, at the same time, protecting small business who are simply trying to provide good service to their customers.”

We await the EU advice with interest.

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