GENERAL CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF TOURIST PACKAGES
- LEGISLATIVE SOURCES
The sale of Tourist packages with the purpose of providing National as well as International services, is regulated – including its abrogation under art. 3 of Legislative Law no. 79 of 23 May 2011 (the “Code of Tourism”) – by L. 27/12/1977 no. 1084 approved and executed by the International Convention concerning travel contracts (CCV), signed in Brussels on 23/4/1970 – as far as it is applicable – as well as by the Code of Tourism (art. 32-51) and its successive modifications
- ADMINISTRATIVE REGIME.
The organizer or the tour package must, as well as the broker appointed by the organizer, be certified at the time of carrying out of the activity, according to the administrative and regional legislation. Pursuant to and in accordance with art. 18, paragraph VI, of the Code of Tourism, the use of the company name or business name of the words “travel agency “, “tourism agency” , “tour operator”, “travel mediator” that is other words or expressions, also in a foreign language, of a similar nature, is exclusively permitted to the certified companies set forth in the first paragraph.
The purposes of this contract are intended as follows:
- a) Travel Organizer or Organizer: the subject that is obliged in their own name and with lump sum payment to provide tourist packages to third parties, realising the combination of elements referred to in art.4 and offering the Tourist, also through a remote system of communication, the possibility of carrying out autonomously and purchasing such combination;
- b) Intermediary: the subject that, even if not professionally or without any profit, sells or is obliged to provide Tourist packages carried out pursuant to and in accordance with art. 4 with lump sum payment;
- c) Tourist: the buyer, the assignee of a Tourist package or any other person to be appointed, provided that the same satisfies all the conditions required for realization of the service, on behalf of which the main contractor is committed to buying a Tourist package.
- NOTION OF TOURIST PACKAGE
The concept of Tourist Package is the following;
“Tourist Packages have as their object trips, holidays, “all included” circuits, Tourist cruises, resulting from the combination, by anyone and any how performed, of at least two of the elements indicated as follows, sold or offered on sale at a forfeit price at an all-inclusive price:
c) Tourist services (the “Tourist Services”) not additional to the transport or accommodation referred to in art. 36 that constitute for satisfaction of the recreational needs of the Tourist, a significant part of the “Tourist Package” (art.34 Cod.of Tourism).
The Tourist is entitled to receive a copy of the sale agreement of the Tourist Package (drafted pursuant to and in accordance with art. 35 of the Code of Tourism). The contract constitutes a right to access the Guarantee Fund provided for in the following art. 21.
- INFORMATION FOR THE TOURIST – TECHNICAL SCHEDULE
The Organizer prepares in draft either in the catalogue or in the program apart from the catalogue – also in e-format or in computerized form – a Specifications Sheet. The compulsory elements of the Specifications Sheet of the catalogue or of the catalogue aside from the catalogue are:
– administrative authorization details or, if applicable, the D.I.A. ( Declaration of Starting Business) or S.C.I.A. of the Organizer;
– details of the insurance policy and civil responsibility;
– validity period of the catalogue or of the program apart from the catalogue;
– procedures and conditions of replacement of the traveler (Art. 39 Cod. Tourism) ;
– parameters and adjustment criteria of travel cost (Art. 40 Cod. Tur.).
The Organizer will also include in the specifications sheet any further particular conditions.
At the time of the conclusion of the contract, the organizer must inform the passengers of the identity of the effective carrier(s) in the respect of the times and modalities provided for by the article 11 of Reg. CE 2111/2005.
The proposal of the reservation must be made in the form for recruitment, whether electronic, completed and signed by the customer, who will receive a copy.
The acceptance of the reservation will be complete, leading to the conclusion of the contract, only when the organizer sends confirmation, also by the electronic system, to the tourist in the intermediary travel agency.
The organizer shall provide, before departure, information about the package that does not appear in the contract documents, brochures or other printed media, according to art. 37, paragraph 2 Cod. Tur.
Under section. 32, paragraph 2 Cod. Rd, in the case of distance contracts or off-premises (as defined in Articles respectively. 50 and 45 of Legislative Decree no. 206/2005), the organizer reserves the right to notify in writing the absence of the right of withdrawal provisions in the articles. 64 et seq. of Legislative Decree n. 206/2005
The amount of the deposit, up to a maximum of 25% of the price of the package, to be paid at time of booking or when the firm request is sent and the date by which, before the departure, the total payment must be done, are defined in the catalogue, brochure or anything else.
Failure to pay the amounts above mentioned by the dates established, is considered a termination clause that can determine, by the intermediary agency and / or the organizer, the legal termination of the contract.
All the bank fees for the transfer of money (bank transfer) shall be charged to the customer and added to the service price and/or to the booked product.
The price of the tourist package is determined in the contract on the basis of the information given in the catalogue (printed or on-line), or in the program not included in the catalogue, on any updates of these catalogues or programs not included in the catalogue.
The price may be subject to change up to 20 days before the date of departure and only in consequence to the variation of:
– cost of transport, including fuel costs;
– rights and taxes on certain types of tourist services, namely landing tax, disembarkation or embarkation of passengers in ports or airports;
– changes in currency taxes applied to the package in question.
For such variations reference shall be made to exchange rates and to the above mentioned costs valid at the date of publication of the program, as reported in the data sheet in the catalogue. The afore mentioned variations shall be applied on the fixed price of the tourist package in the percentage expressly indicated in the catalogue or program data sheet.
The prices do not include bank fees for the transfer of money (bank transfer).
9.Modification or cancellation of the tourist package before departure
Before the customer’s departure, if the seller must significantly modify one or more elements of the contract, immediate written notice must be given to the customer, indicating the type of modification and the subsequent price variation.
If he does not accept the modification proposed referred to in paragraph 1, the consumer may exercise the right to regain either the sum already paid or to enjoy the offer of a package of substitution under the 2nd and 3rd paragraph of Article 10 . The customer can exercise the above mentioned rights when cancellation is due to failure to reach the minimum number of participants indicated in the Catalogue or in the Program not included in the Catalogue, or due to force majeure or fortuitous events, relative to the purchased tourist package.
For the cancellations other than those caused by force majeure, fortuitous events or the failure to reach the minimum number of participants, as well as for those not due to the customer’s failure to accept the alternative tourist package offered the organizer who cancels (Article 33, letter e, Consumer code) must reimburse the customer double the amount paid by the same and collected by the organizer, through the travel agent. The reimbursed amount may never be greater than double what the customer may owe as of the same date, under paragraph 4 of article 10, in the case where the client demands cancellation.
- WITHDRAWAL BY THE CUSTOMER
The consumer may cancel the contract without paying penalties in the following cases:
– increase in the price referred to in art. 8 to an extent exceeding 10%;
– significant modification of one or more elements of the contract objectively definable as essential for the fruition of the tourist package as a whole and proposed by the organizer after the conclusion of the contract before the departure and not accepted by the consumer.
In the cases mentioned above, the consumer has the right either:
– to make use of an alternative tourist package, without extra cost or with the return of the surplus price, if the second package has a value lower than the first;
– to a refund of the only part of the amount already paid. This refund will be made within seven working days from receipt of the request for reimbursement. The consumer must communicate his decision (to accept the modification or to withdraw from the contract) within and not later than two working days from the time of receiving the notification of increase or modification. In the absence of express notice within such period, the proposal made by the organizer will be considered accepted
The consumer who will withdraw from the contract before the departure outside the assumptions listed in the first paragraph, will pay – regardless of the payment of the deposit mentioned in Article 7 paragraph 1 – the individual cost for the management of the practice, the penalty indicated in the specifications of the Catalogue or Program not included in the catalogue or customized travel, any amount of insurance coverage already required at the conclusion of the contract or for other services already given. In the case of organized groups such payments will be agreed from time to time at the signature of the contract.
11 MODIFICATIONS AFTER DEPARTURE
After departure, should the organizer, finds that he/she is unable to provide for any reason, excluding a personal problem of the customer, an essential part of the services provided for in the contract, he/she must provide alternative solutions, without additional costs to the contracting party and if the services provided are of an inferior value than those contracted, reimbursement equal to the difference must be made.
If no other alternative solutions are possible, or if the solution proposed by the organizer is refused by the customer for proven and just cause, the organizer shall provide, at no additional charge, transportation equal to that originally envisioned for return to the location of departure or to a different location eventually agreed upon compatibly with the availability of the given means of transport and available seating/space, and shall reimburse the difference in cost of the contracted services and that of the services performed up to the moment of early re-entry of the customer.
The withdrawing customer may be substituted by another person provided that:
- The organizer is informed in writing at least 4 working days before the set date of departure, simultaneously being informed of the reasons for the substitution and the generalities of the substitute.
b. The substitute satisfies all the conditions for use of the service (ex article 39 of the Consumer code) and in particular the prerequisites relative to passport, visa and health certificates;
- The same services or other alternative services can be provided after the substitution;
- The sub-entering person must reimburse the organizer for all additional expenses incurred to proceed with the substitution, in the amount quantified prior to the transfer. The transferring party and the transferee are responsible jointly and severally for the payment of the balance of the price as well as the amounts indicated in letter d) of this article.
Further modalities and conditions for substitution are indicated in the data sheet.
13. OBLIGATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS DURING THEIR HOLIDAY IN ITALY
During the negotiations and before the contract is concluded, Italian citizens will be supplied with all general information in writing – updated to the date of printing of the catalogue – about the obligations concerning health and the necessary documents for travel abroad. Foreign citizens will find the relevant information through their diplomatic representations in Italy and/or official government information channels.
In any case, the consumers shall, before the departure, check the update at the competent authorities (for Italian citizens the local police headquarters or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the website www.viaggiaresicuri.it or the Operation Centre at the number +39 06.491115) and shall comply with these indications before the departure.
In absence of such verification, no responsibilities for the failed departure of one or more consumers may be attributed to the seller or the organizer. Consumers must inform the seller and the organizer of their citizenship and, at the time of departure, must definitely make sure to hold certificates of vaccination, the individual passport and any other document valid for all countries to be visited, as well as stay visas, transit visas and health certificates, if required.
Furthermore, in order to assess the health and safety of the countries of destination and, therefore, the objective usability of the services purchased or to be purchased, the consumer will retrieve (by using the information sources indicated in paragraph 2) the general official information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which explicitly state whether or not the destinations are subject to an official warning. Consumers should also follow the rules of normal prudence and care and the specific rules in force in the countries of destination of the travel, all the information provided by the organizer, as well as regulations, administrative or legislative provisions relating to the package. Consumers will be liable for any damage caused to the organizer and/or the seller also due to the non-compliance of the obligations set out above. The consumer is required to provide the organizer with all documents, information and facts in his possession relevant to the exercise of his right of subrogation against third party responsible for the damage and he is also responsible towards the organizer for the prejudice caused to the right of subrogation. The organizer will also communicate in writing to the organizer, at the time of booking, any personal requests that may be subject of specific agreements on the travel arrangements, provided that it is possible to meet them. The consumer is still obliged to inform the Seller or the Organizer about any needs or particular conditions (pregnancy, food allergies, disabilities, etc…) and to explicitly specify the request for relevant personalized services.
- CLASSIFICATION OF ACCOMODATIONS
The official classification of the hotel structures is supplied in the online catalogue or in other informative material only based on the specific and formal indications by the competent authorities of the country where the service is implemented. In the absence of official classifications recognized by the competent Public Authorities of the Countries, including EU members, to which the service is referring, the Organizer takes the right to supply, in the online catalogue or in the brochure, a personal description of the receiving structure, such as to allow an evaluation and the consequent acceptance of the same from behalf of the Consumer.
15. LIABILITY REGIME
The organizer is responsible for damages caused to the customer due to partial or total non fulfilment of the contractual services due, whether provided personally by the organizer or by third party service providers, unless it can be proven that the event was caused by the customer (including initiatives taken independently by the client in the course of the tourist services) or by extraneous circumstances to the services provided in the contract, a fortuitous event, force majeure or circumstances could the organizer could not, in accordance with professional diligence, reasonably foresee or resolve.
The seller with whom the booking of the tourist package was made is not responsible in any case for obligations arising from the organization of the trip, but is exclusively responsible for the obligations arising from his role as intermediary and, in any case, within the limits provided by the aforementioned laws or conventions for said responsibility (art 46 of the Code of Tourism).
- LIMITS OF COMPENSATION
Compensation according to art. 44, 45 and 47 of the Code of Tourism and the relative limitation terms are regulated by that here provided and in any case within the limits determined by C.C.V, by the International Conventions that regulate the services, object of the Tourist Package as well as those contained in art. 1783 and 1784 of the Civil Code.
- OBLIGATIONS TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE
The organizer must provide the customer with assistance in the measure required by the criteria of professional diligence, exclusively in reference to the obligations he/she is responsible for under law or by contract.
The organizer and the seller are exempt from their respective responsibilities (articles 15 and 16 of these General Conditions) when the failed or inexact execution of the contract is attributable to the customer or is dependent on an unforeseeable or inevitable outside event, or in the case of fortuitous events or force majeure.
- COMPLAINS AND CLAIMS
The customer must report any fault in the execution of the terms of the contract delay so that the organizer, his/her local representative or guide can resolve the issue in good time.
Alternatively the damage reimbursement will be decreased or excluded according to art 1227 of the Civil Code.
The Tourist must also – upon penalty of cancellation – send their complaint by registered letter with return receipt, or through any other means that guarantees the communication of receipt, to the Organizer or the Intermediary, within ten working days from the date the Tourist returns to their place of departure.
- INSURANCE AGAINST CANCELLATION AND RAPATRIATION EXPENSES
If not expressly included in the price, it is possible, and advisable, to stipulate special insurance policies that cover the costs due to cancellation of the package, accidents and luggage, at the moment of booking at the organizer’s or seller’s offices. It is also possible to stipulate an assistance contract which covers the expenses of repatriation in case of accident or illness, fortuitous cases and/or force majeure. The Tourist will exert their rights deriving from these contracts exclusively towards the contracting associations, according to the conditions and procedures provided for in such policies.
- ALTERNATIVE TOOLS OF CLAIMS SOLUTIONS
Pursuant to and by effect of art. 67 Code of Tourism, the organizer will be able to propose to the Tourist a catalogue, on its own site or in other forms, an alternative resolution procedure for those claims that have arisen. In this case the Organizer will indicate the type of alternative resolution proposed and the effect that such adhesion involves.
- GUARANTEE FUND (art. 51 Code of Tourism).
The National Guarantee Fund established to protect Tourists that are in possession of a contract, fulfills the following requirements in case of declared insolvency or bankruptcy of the Intermediary or of the Organizer:
- a) Reimbursement of the amount paid;
- b) Repatriation in the event of travel abroad.
The fund must also provide immediate economic assistance in the case of forced re-entry of Tourists from non-EU countries due to emergencies imputable or not to the Organizer’s behavior. The Fund’s interventions procedures are established in the Prime Ministerial Decree of 23/07/99, no. 349 and the applications for reimbursement to the Fund are not subject to any limitation period. The Organizer and the Intermediary shall contribute to such Fund in the measure set forth in the paragraph 2 of the above mentioned art.51 of the Code of Tourism through the payment of a compulsory insurance bonus that he has to draw up, a share of which is deposited into the Fund according the procedures provided for in art.6 of Ministerial Decree 349/99.
ADDENDUM GENERAL SALES CONTRACT CONDITIONS OF SEPARATE TOURIST SERVICES
- LEGAL PROVISIONS
Contracts covering the supply of the only transport service, the stay or any other separate tourist service, not being able to present itself as a negotiated case of organization of a travel or a tourist package, are governed by the following provisions of the CCV: article 1, No. 3 and No. 6; articles from 17 to 23; articles from 24 to 31 with regard to provisions different from those relating to the contract of organization as well as from other agreements specifically related to the sale of a single service which is the subject of the contract.
The vendor that agrees to provide to third parties, also by electronic means, a separately combined Tourist service, must provide the Tourist documents relating to this service that show the sum paid for the service and the same may in no way be considered Travel Organizer.
- B) CONDITIONS OF THIS ADDENDUM
The following clauses of this General Condition of Tourist Packages Sale are also applicable to the Addendum: art. 6; art. 7; art. 13; art. 18. The application of the said clauses in no way categorizes the relative services as part of the Tourist Package. As such, the terminology of the afore mentioned clauses relating to the Tourist Package contract (Organizer, travel etc.) shall be understood with reference to the corresponding figures of the contract of sale of the individual Tourist services (vendor, accommodation etc.).