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In the UK at least, the delays in beginning effective consultation with the trade means many agents who are likely be affected are simply unaware of the sweeping changes which begin in a year's time. For larger businesses, there simply isn't going to be enough time to change booking conditions, agency agreements and ATOL Certificates before July 1st 2018. The practical problems are going to be at least as serious as the legal ones, and when no one really knows what to do, the dishonest take advantage, the consumer loses out and the whole industry gets a bad name
The PTD is indeed a monster but the reason for that is that the regulators are trying to regulate with as light a touch as possible whilst still providing an acceptable level of consumer protection. The regulations would be a lot simpler if the regulators were braver and prepared to make a few simple sweeping decisions. Here are just two: 1. Online platforms are publishers and must be responsible for the content they publish; 2. Any money paid in advance of the provision of any service has to be held in trust until the service has been completely delivered. Such rules would be simple to comply with but I can already hear the squeals from the online community and so called 'sharing economy' platforms that they would 'stifle innovation'!
Paul makes very good points. There is no question that thelikes of Google and Facebook are media companies not technology companies asthey claim, in order to avoid having to behave properly with regard to thingspublished on their platforms. The point is that they earn their moneyfrom advertising and what draws the audience is the content. They onlydiffer from online publications by the fact that the content is posted free ofcharge by their users. They should make those users responsible for thecontent and also take some responsibilities themselves as the publishers ofthat content.
With regard to the new PTD, it is flawed because its premise is wrong and basedon history which is no longer applicable. What creates the liability isthe bundling of two travel elements. In the past when that was a hotel and aflight and the package was bought up front, the bundling was a good proxy forcreating liabilities towards the consumer but the point is that difficultiesare not created by the bundling; they are created by the up front payment. Ifthe tour operator defaults, the consumer is left high and dry. The trustaccount model is a very good solution because money is collected when thebooking is made and it need not be paid out by the operator to the hotel andmany other travel suppliers until after the service is consumed. Therefore, ifthere is a lapse in service, the operator could withhold payment and therebyprotect the consumer.