New European Rules Will Protect Tourists

The new European directive on package travel entered into force on 1 July.
What's changing?

The tour operator has the right to increase the price of the pack up to 20 days before the start of the holiday only if this is written in the contract. The price change in question may occur because of a change in fuel prices, taxes or exchange rates. If the price increase is more than 8% of the total package price, tourists may refuse to use the service without a fee for termination.

In a situation of a reduction in the cost of the prices, tourists may request a reduction in the price, too. The Package holiday directive does not include the use of holiday homes or apartments reserved directly by the tour operator without the inclusion of any other services.

Related trips through agreements are also subject to the directive.

If tourists book a flight on one website and on a second one - a hotel or car and all that is happening within 24 hours, they are protected against the insolvency of the reservation website that becomes a tour operator and the insolvency of the airline and the hotel. In addition, in emergencies such as volcano eruption or terrorist attack, in case of a refusal by the travellers to take advantage of the excursion, they will not pay a fee.

They may withdraw without penalty also if there are extraordinary circumstances at the place of arrival - an outbreak of an epidemic, a volcano erupting, etc. In this case, the organizer will have to return the money within 14 days.

The tour operator, as in the past, may foresee in the contract, that package trips may not take place if there are not enough entrants. The new directive sets deadlines for the organizer to notify its clients:
- 20 days before the start of the package if the trip lasts longer than 6 days
- 7 days before the start of the package if it lasts 2-6 days
- 48 hours before the start if it takes less than 2 days.

Objections to the quality of service will be accepted within two years. If the tour operator is a trader registered in another EU country, Iceland or Norway, tourists can also contact the European Consumer Center Bulgaria at

Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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