Tourism and Regulation
The tourism industry is made up largely of small and medium sized businesses and for many the regulatory burden of legal compliance can be considerable.
On behalf of its members, UKinbound considers existing regulations and new, proposed regulations that impact on the inbound tourism industry and how they can be simplified or improved. UKinbound is also keen to ensure a level regulatory playing field for all tourism businesses – particularly those that are part of the sharing economy.
Package Travel Regulations
A key piece of legislation for the inbound industry currently is the 1992 Package Travel Regulations which provide protection to consumers who buy package holidays. These regulations were updated in 2015 and came into force in the UK on 1 July 2018.
Three important changes have been made which significantly expands the scope of the Package Travel Regulations:
- Motor vehicle hire is now considered a distinct element
- The definition of a Package has been significantly expanded to include dynamic packaging and when a single company sells two or more elements
- A new form of Package has been introduced called Linked Travel Arrangements, which is formed when two or more elements are purchased for the same trip but there is a clear separation of the booking and selection processes.
The Tourism Alliance and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have developed guidance on the application of the new Regulations. You can access their guidance here.
Regulating the Sharing Economy
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Tourism, Leisure and the Hospitality Industry held an inquiry into the sharing economy in July 2018. You can read their report here and a position paper from the Tourism Alliance which sets out some practical recommendations for Government on how to implement the recommendations.
UKinbound is currently talking with other industry colleagues and Government about how best to ensure that services offered through the sharing economy are safe and legal for consumers. An update will be available in due course.