ABTA today responded to the latest step in the review of the European Package Travel Directive (PTD) as the Council of Ministers – made up of EU Member State representatives – adopted a general approach, amending the European Commission’s earlier proposals.
The process will soon enter the final stage of negotiations, called ‘trilogue negotiations’, where the Commission, the Council, and the European Parliament will seek to come to a consensus on changes proposed throughout this review process.
ABTA has been closely engaged with the UK Government and other Member States in support of the objectives set by the Commission when they launched their proposals for modernising the Package Travel Directive – these are;
ABTA is concerned that these objectives are put at risk by some of the changes suggested by the Council, and is calling for careful consideration in the trilogue negotiations to ensure a balanced and workable Directive.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “We are reviewing the detail of the Council’s changes. Some clarity has been achieved on the definition of packages and Assisted Travel Arrangements (ATA), and other arguments made by the industry have been addressed, such as the exemption of business travel sales. However, it is clear that certain changes made by the Council are unsatisfactory and not in line with the original objectives set by the Commission when they embarked upon this reform process – namely, the extension of clear and transparent consumer protection for holidaymakers, and a fairer regulatory framework for travel businesses.
For example, ABTA is concerned that the Council changes fail to adequately capture linked online sales. Furthermore, we are concerned that the Council has seemingly reduced consumer protections attached to ATAs.
As the process enters the final stage of negotiations in the new year, there will be further opportunities for the industry to ensure that our voice is heard. ABTA will continue to work tirelessly in Brussels to secure a modern and effective Directive that is workable, and beneficial for both consumers and travel businesses.”