As the name suggests, this regulation applies to the sale of a package to a consumer. A package is a booking that involves two or more travel elements, for example a flight and a hotel, or a hotel and car hire. Any booking for a single item, for example a flight only booking, is not covered by the PTR.
The regulation makes two demands on your business for package sales:
- The company selling the package to a consumer must have guarantees in place that should the seller, or any of its suppliers cease to trade, the customer gets a refund or the holiday they purchased.
- If the customer is on vacation at the time of the default, then the seller must guarantee customer repatriation.
In other words, your business must provide a guarantee that, in the event of your company getting into financial difficulties, the customers to whom you sold a package are guaranteed their holiday, their cash or safe passage home.
Clearly the guarantee must be backed by a third party and cannot be internal. At TTA, we run a trust account system for all our member companies. This provides the guarantees required by the PTR with no upfront costs. The usual alternative is to purchase a bond, which incurs a significant upfront cost.