GENERAL TERMS OF CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF A PACKAGE TRAVEL
FOREWORD: CONTENTS OF THE PACKAGE TRAVEL CONTRACT
The following general terms and conditions, the description of the package travel in the catalogue (online or on paper) or in the separate travel programme, as well as the booking confirmation sent by the organiser to the seller as agent for the traveller, form an integral part of the package travel contract. By signing the proposal to buy a package travel, travellers declare that they have read and accept, for themselves and for the subjects specified in the contract, both the package travel contract and how it is regulated, the warnings and conditions contained therein, as well as these general terms and conditions.
The sale of package travels and linked travel arrangements is governed by the Tourism Code (Articles 32-51 – novies) as amended by Legislative Decree No. 62/2018 implementing EU Directive 2015/2302 and its subsequent amendments, and the provisions of the Italian Civil Code relating to transport and mandate, as applicable.
2. ADMINISTRATIVE TERMS
The organiser and vendor (retailer) of the package travel, to which the traveller addresses, must be authorised to perform their respective activities in accordance with current legislation, including regional or municipal, and to operate as provided therein. The organiser/vendor exercising in the territory of Italy must be covered by a civil liability insurance contract in favour of the traveller for compensation for damages arising from breach of the obligations under the contract. The contracts for the organisation of a package travel are covered by insurance policies or bank guarantees which, in the event of insolvency or bankruptcy of the organiser or retailer, ensure, without delay at the request of the traveller, the reimbursement of the price paid for the purchase of the package, as well as the traveller’s immediate repatriation in the event that the package includes the traveller’s transportation, and if necessary the payment of board and lodging prior to the return trip. This obligation also applies to professionals who facilitate linked travel arrangements, for the reimbursement of all payments they receive from travellers.
For the purposes of this contract, the following definitions apply:
a) ‘traveller’ means any person seeking to conclude a contract, enter into a contract or entitled to travel on the basis of a related contract for a package travel or tourist service;
b) ‘trader’ means any public or private, natural or legal person who, for purposes relating to his/her business activities, craft or profession, is acting, in contracts related to a travel package or travel services, including through any other person acting in his/her name or on his/her behalf, whether acting in the capacity of organiser, vendor, (retailer), trader, professional facilitating related travel services or as a travel service provider, under current legislation;
c) ‘organiser’ means a trader who combines and sells, or offers for sale packages, either directly or through another professional or together with another professional, or a professional who transmits the traveller’s data to another professional in accordance with point c), number 2.4); art. 33 of the Tourism Code;
d) ‘retailer’ means a trader other than the organiser who sells or offers to sell packages put together or combined by an organiser;
e) ‘establishment’ means an establishment as defined in Article 8, par. 1, letter e) of Italian Legislative Decree No. 59 of 26 March 2010;
f) ‘durable medium’ means any instrument enabling the traveller or trader to store information addressed personally to them in a manner that is accessible for future reference for a period of time suitable for the purposes of the information, and which allows the unchanged reproduction of the information stored;
g)‘unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances’ means a situation beyond the control of the party that invokes such a situation and the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken;
h) ‘lack of conformity’ means a failure to perform the travel services included in a package;
i) ‘minor’ means a person below the age of 18 years (child);
l) ‘repatriation’ means the traveller’s return to the place of departure or to another place the contracting parties agree upon.
4. CONCEPT OF PACKAGE TRAVEL AND RELATED TRAVEL SERVICES
4.1 “Package travel” refers to the combination of at least two different types of travel services (i.e. 1. the transport of passengers; 2. accommodation that is not an integral part of the transport of passengers and is not intended for residential purposes or for long-term language courses; 3. the hiring out of cars, other vehicles or motorcycles and which requires a category A driving licence; 4. any other tourist service which is not an integral part of one of the travel services referred to in points 1), 2) or 3), and is not a financial or insurance service, nor qualifies as a ‘supplementary tourist service’) for the purposes of the same journey or holiday, if at least one of the following conditions applies:
- such services are combined by a single trader, even at the request of the traveller or according to one of the traveller’s selections, before a single contract for all the services is concluded;
- such services, even when concluded with separate contracts with individual travel service providers, are:
2.1) purchased at a single point of sale and selected before the traveller consents to payment; 2.2) offered, sold or invoiced at a flat-rate or global price;
2.3) advertised or sold under the name “package” or a similar name;
2.4) combined after the conclusion of a contract with which the trader allows the traveller to choose from a selection of different types of travel services, or purchased from separate traders through linked electronic booking processes where the traveller’s name, payment details and e-mail address are transmitted by the trader with whom the first contract is concluded, to one or more traders and the contract with the latter trader or
traders is concluded at the latest 24 hours after the confirmation of the booking of the first travel service;
4.2 “Related tourist service” refers to at least two different types of travel services purchased for the purpose of the same trip or holiday, not constituting a package, resulting in the conclusion of separate contracts with the individual travel service providers, if facilitated by a trader, alternately: 1) at the time of a single visit or single contact with their point of sale, the separate selection and payment of each tourist service by the traveller; 2) the targeted purchase of at least one additional tourist service from another professional when such purchase is concluded within 24 hours of confirmation of the reservation of the first tourist service.
5. INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLERS
5.1 Before the conclusion of the package travel contract or a corresponding offer, the organiser and retailer shall provide the traveller with the relevant “standard information form”, as well as provide the traveller with the following information:
a) the main characteristics of the travel services, such as: 1) the travel destination(s), the itinerary and periods of stay, with relevant dates and, if accommodation is included, the number of nights included;
2) the means, characteristics and categories of transport, the places, dates and times of departure and repatriation, the duration and places of intermediate stops and transport connections; if the time has not yet been established, the organiser and, where applicable, the retailer, shall inform the traveller of the approximate time of departure and repatriation; 3) the location, primary characteristics and, where applicable, the tourist category of the accommodations in accordance with regulations in the country of destination; (4) meals provided; (5) visits, excursions or other services included in the total agreed price of the package; (6) travel services provided to the traveller as a member of a group and, if so, the approximate size of the group; (7) the language in which the services are provided; (8) whether the journey or holiday is suitable for persons with reduced mobility and, at the request of the traveller, precise information on the suitability of the journey or holiday taking into account the needs of the traveller;
b) the business name and geographical address of the organiser and, where applicable, of the retailer, their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses;
c) the total price of the package inclusive of taxes and all additional fees, charges and other costs, including any administrative and handling costs, or, where those costs cannot reasonably be calculated in advance of the conclusion of the contract, an indication of the type of additional costs which the traveller may still have to bear;
d) the arrangement for payment, including any amount or percentage of the price to be paid as a down payment and the timetable for payment of the balance, or the financial guarantees which the traveller is required to pay or provide;
e) the minimum number of persons required for the package and the time-limit, referred to in Article 41(5)(a), prior to the start of the package for the possible termination of the contract if that number is not reached;
f) general information on passport and/or visa requirements, including approximate periods for obtaining visas and information on health formalities, of the country of destination;
g) information on the traveller’s right to withdraw from the contract at any time before the start of the package upon payment of appropriate withdrawal costs or, if envisaged, the standard withdrawal costs required by the organiser;
h) information on optional or compulsory insurance to cover the cost of unilateral termination of the contract by the traveller or the cost of assistance, including repatriation, in the event of accident, illness or death;
i) details of insolvency or bankruptcy protection cover, and the liability insurance contract for the benefit of the traveller;
l) information on the identity of the operating air carrier, if not known at the time of booking, correct provision according to Art.11 Reg. EC 2111 \05 (Art. 11, par. 2 Reg. (EC) 2111/05: “If the identity of the operating air carrier(s) is not yet known at the time of reservation, the air carriage contractor shall ensure that the passenger is informed of the name(s) of the air carrier(s) that will operate as operating air carrier(s) for the flight(s) concerned. In this case, the air carriage contractor shall ensure that the passenger is informed of the identity of the operating air carrier(s) as soon as their identity has been established and their possible operating ban in the European Union”.
5.2 For package tour contracts concluded by telephone, the organiser or professional shall provide the traveller with the information required by the ‘standard information form’ set out in Annex A, Part II, of the Tourism Code.
5.3 In view of the long advance notice with which the catalogues containing information on how to use the services are published, it should be noted that the schedules and routes of the flights indicated in the acceptance of the proposal to purchase and sell services may be subject to change as they are subject to subsequent validation; the final flight schedules will be notified in the days prior to the departure and repatriation. It should be noted that charter flights are not, by definition, subject to systematic scheduling.
5.4 As provided for by Art. 6.2 of EC Regulation 2027/97, at the request of passengers, information will be provided on the provisions regarding the liability of the Community air carrier for damages caused by death, injury and personal injury, on the insurance coverage obligations, as well as information on the timing of advances of payment to the natural person entitled to compensation.
6. PURCHASE PROPOSAL – BOOKINGS
6.1 At the time of the conclusion of the package travel contract or, in any case, as soon as possible, the organiser or retailer, shall provide the traveller with a copy or confirmation of the contract on a durable medium.
6.2 The traveller has the right to a paper copy if the package travel contract has been concluded in the simultaneous physical presence of the parties.
6.3 With regard to contracts negotiated away from business premises, as defined in Article 45, par. 1, letter h), of Legislative Decree No. 206/2005, a copy or confirmation of the package travel contract is provided to the traveller on paper or, if the traveller consents, on another durable medium.
6.4 The package travel contract is considered completed, with the consequent conclusion of the contract, only when the organiser sends confirmation, also by means of an electronic system, to the traveller at the retailer’s premises.
6.5 The traveller must inform the retailer, prior to booking, of any specific requests considered to be the subject of the contract only if possible, as reported in writing in the contract and accepted by the organiser.
6.6 Travel documents (e.g. vouchers) will be handed over to the traveller in good time before departure, and the traveller is required to keep and take them with him/her during the journey in order to be able to benefit from the services regularly booked, together with any other documents (e.g. airline tickets) delivered by the retailer. The traveller is obliged to verify the correctness of the information contained in the aforementioned documents and in the travel contract, and to inform the retailer immediately of any errors. The traveller must communicate to the organiser the full data of the participants exactly as indicated on the personal identity documents.
6.7 Any excursions or services purchased and paid for by travellers at their destination are outside the scope of this contract. As such, no responsibility shall be attributed to the organiser or retailer, even in the event that, as a courtesy, resident staff, escorts, guides or local correspondents offer to arrange for bookings.
7.1 The following must be paid for at the time of the contract’s signing: a) the registration or file management fee (see art. 8); b) advance payment to the extent indicated by the organiser or retailer. The balance must be paid in full within the period established by the organiser in its catalogue or in the booking confirmation.
7.2 Failure to pay the above amounts, on the established dates, as well as failure to remit to the organiser the amounts paid by the traveller to the retailer will result in the automatic termination of the contract by simple written notice, by fax or e-mail, at the retailer’s domicile, or at the traveller’s domicile, including electronic, where communicated. The balance of the price is considered to have been paid when the sums are received by the organiser directly from the traveller or through the retailer.
8. PRICE AND ALTERATION OF THE PRICE
8.1 The price of the package travel is set out in the contract, with reference to what is indicated in the catalogue or on the organiser’s website, or in the non-catalogue/customised programme and any updates to such catalogues or non-catalogue programmes that may subsequently have occurred, or on the operator’s website. The price may also vary, either upwards or downwards, only as a result of changes in: – the price of transportation for passengers in relation to fuel costs or other energy costs; – the level of charges and taxes on travel services included in the contract imposed by third parties not directly involved in the execution of the package, including landing, disembarkation or embarkation fees in ports and airports; – exchange rates relevant to the package in question. A price increase is possible only if the organiser informs the traveller on a durable medium, together with the justification for the price increase and the method of calculation, at least 20 days before the start of the package. If the price increase exceeds 8% of the total price of the package, point 9.2 below shall apply. If the price falls, the organiser has the right to deduct administrative and management costs of actual files for reimbursements owed to travellers, of which the organiser is obliged to provide proof at the request of the traveller.
8.2 The price consists of: a) the registration fee or file management fee; b) participation fee: expressed in the catalogue or in the package quote provided by the retailer to the traveller; c) cost of any insurance policies against risks of cancellation, withdrawal and/or medical expenses or other services required; d) cost of any visas and entry and exit taxes from the holiday destination countries; e) airport and/or port charges and taxes.
9. VARIATION, WITHDRAWAL OF THE ORGANISER OR CANCELLATION OF THE PACKAGE TRAVEL PRIOR TO DEPARTURE
9.1 Before the start of the package, the organiser may unilaterally change the terms and conditions of the contract other than the price, as long as the changes are of minor importance, by notifying the traveller on a durable medium, including through the retailer.
9.2 If, prior to the start of the package, the organiser is obliged to significantly alter one or more of the main features of the travel services, or cannot meet the specific requests previously accepted and expressly stated in the contract, or proposes to increase the price of the package by more than 8%, the traveller, within a reasonable period specified by the organiser at the same time as the notification of the change, can accept the proposed change or withdraw from the contract without paying withdrawal costs. In the event of termination, the organiser may offer the traveller a substitute package of an equivalent or higher quality. The notice of change shall inform the traveller of the proposed changes, their impact on the price of the package, the period within which the traveller is required to inform the organiser of its decision, and the consequences of the non-response of the traveller within said period as well as any replacement package offered and its price.
9.3 If the changes to the package travel contract, or to the substitute package result in a package of lower quality or cost, the traveller will be entitled to an appropriate price reduction.
9.4 In the event of termination of the package travel contract pursuant to the previous paragraph if the traveller does not accept a substitute package, the organiser shall be obliged to refund all payments made by or on behalf of the traveller without undue delay and in any event no later than 14 days after the contract is terminated, applying the provisions outlined in Art. 43, paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 of the Tourism Code.
9.5 The organiser may terminate the package travel contract and offer the traveller a full refund of the payments made for the package, but is not obliged to pay additional compensation if:
a) the number of persons enrolled for the package is lower than the minimum number stated in the contract and the organiser notifies the traveller of the contract termination within the time period stipulated in the contract but no later than 20 days prior to the start of the package in the case of trips lasting between two and six days, 48 hours before the start of the package in the case of trips lasting less than two days; b) the organiser is not able to execute the contract due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances and communicates the withdrawal from the contract to the traveller without undue delay before the start of the package.
10. TERMINATION BY THE TRAVELLER
10.1 The traveller may withdraw from the contract at any time prior to the start of the package upon payment of appropriate withdrawal costs, or, if applicable, the standard withdrawal costs (cancellation fees) provided by the organiser, which depend on the destination chosen and time at which the traveller withdraws with respect to the departure date. In the absence of specification of standard withdrawal fees, the amount of withdrawal fees corresponds to the price of the package less cost savings and revenues arising from the reallocation of travel services.
10.2 The traveller may take out insurance policies to cover the above-mentioned costs of unilateral withdrawal by the traveller or the costs of assistance, including the return journey, in the event of accident, illness or death. Depending on the chosen package, the organiser shall inform the traveller about the optional or compulsory underwriting of such insurances.
10.3 Termination costs are not owed in the cases provided for in Article 9(2) above. In the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occurring at the place of destination or in its immediate vicinity and which significantly affect the performance of the package or the carriage of passengers to the destination, the traveller is entitled to terminate the contract prior to the start of the package, without paying any termination fee, and to a full refund of any payments made for the package, but is not entitled to additional compensation.
10.4 In the case of contracts negotiated off business premises (as defined in Article 45 par.1 letter h) of the Consumer Code), the traveller is entitled to terminate the package travel contract within a period of five days from the date of conclusion of the contract or from the date of receiving the contractual conditions and preliminary information, if later, without penalty and without providing any reason. In cases of offers with significantly lower rates compared to competing offers, the right of withdrawal is excluded. In the latter case, the organiser will document the variation in price and adequately highlight the exclusion of the right of withdrawal.
11. CHANGES AFTER DEPARTURE
11.1 If, due to supervening circumstances not attributable to the organiser, it is impossible, in the course of performance, to provide a substantial part, in terms of value or quality, of the combination of the travel services agreed in the package travel contract, the organiser will offer, at no extra cost to the traveller, suitable alternative solutions of a quality, where possible equivalent, or higher, than those specified in the contract, so that the performance of the package can continue, including the possibility that the traveller’s repatriation to the place of departure is not provided as agreed. If the proposed alternative arrangements result in a package of lower quality than that specified in the package travel contract, the organiser will grant the traveller an appropriate price reduction.