The possibility of travellers terminating their package travel contract at any time – for example, the day before departure – supported by an appropriate and justifiable termination fee, is one of the innovations of the New PTD.
The initial part of recital 31 alerts to this significant change: “Travellers should also be able to terminate the package travel contract at any time before the start of the package in return for payment of an appropriate and justifiable termination fee, taking into account expected cost savings and income from alternative deployment of the travel services.”.
Also in accordance with the new legal framework, the traveller may terminate the travel contract without incurring penalties if the destination has suffered a terrorist attack, a virus like zika has emerged or a devastating earthquake has affected the region, even if national authorities are not against the movement (required by the current framework): “They should also have the right to terminate the package travel contract without paying any termination fee where unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances will significantly affect the performance of the package. This may cover for example warfare, other serious security problems such as terrorism, significant risks to human health such as the outbreak of a serious disease at the travel destination, or natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes or weather conditions which make it impossible to travel safely to the destination as agreed in the package travel contract.”.
Article 12 of the Directive 2015/2302 is therefore one of the rules that will raise greater interest from experts of different nationalities during the conference and will surely be widely debated in the coming years across Europe.
From France, considered by many the birthplace of Tourism Law, designed by world-renowned scholars such as Pierre Py, comes Professor Laurence Jégouzo, Deputy director of the Law School of the Sorbonne, author of Le droit du Tourisme and director of the revue Droit et Pratique du Tourisme.