GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE SALE OF TOURIST PACKAGES
1. LEGISLATIVE SOURCES
The sale of tourist packages, which have as their object services to be provided both nationally and internationally, is governed – until its repeal pursuant to art. 3 of Legislative Decree no. 79 of 23 May 2011 (the ‘Tourism Code’) – by Law no. 1084 of 27/12/1977 ratifying and implementing the International Convention on Travel Contracts (CCV), signed in Brussels on 23.4.1970 – as applicable – as well as by the Tourism Code (Art. 32-51) and its subsequent amendments.
2. ADMINISTRATIVE REGIME
The organiser and the intermediary of the tourist service, to whom the tourist turns, must be authorised to carry out their respective activities according to the applicable administrative regulations, including regional ones. , ‘tour operator’, ‘travel mediator’ or other words and phrases, even in a foreign language, of a similar nature, is permitted exclusively to the qualified companies referred to in the first paragraph.
For the purposes of this contract, the following terms are intended: a) travel organiser: the subject who undertakes, in his own name and for a fixed fee, to procure tourist packages for third parties, creating a combination of the elements referred to in Article 4 below or offering the tourist, even through a system of distance communication, the possibility to independently create and purchase such a combination; b) intermediary: the subject who, even not professionally and not for profit, sells or undertakes to procure tourist packages made in accordance with Article 4 below for a fixed fee. c) tourist: the purchaser, the transferee of a tourist service or any person, also to be named, provided that they meet all the conditions required for the use of the service, on whose behalf the principal contractor undertakes to purchase a tourist service without remuneration.
4. NOTION OF TOURIST PACKAGE
The notion of tourist package is as follows: Tourist packages refer to journeys, holidays, all-inclusive circuits, tourist cruises, resulting from the combination, by whomever and howsoever realised, of at least two of the elements indicated below, sold or offered for sale at a fixed price: a) transport; b) accommodation; c) tourist services not ancillary to transport or accommodation as per Art. 36 that constitute a significant part of the ‘tourist package’ for the satisfaction of the tourist’s recreational needs (Art. 34 Tourist Code). The tourist has the right to receive a copy of the contract of sale of the tourist package (drawn up in accordance with the terms of Art. 35 of the Tourism Code). The contract constitutes an entitlement to access the Guarantee Fund referred to in Art. 21 below.
5. INFORMATION TO THE TOURIST – DATA SHEET
The organiser prepares a data sheet in the catalogue or in the programme outside the catalogue – also in electronic format or by telematic means -. The compulsory elements of the data sheet in the catalogue or out-of-catalogue programme are: – details of the organiser’s administrative authorisation or, if applicable, the D.I.A. or S.C.I.A.; – details of the civil liability insurance policy; – period of validity of the catalogue or out-of-catalogue programme; – terms and conditions of replacement of the traveller (Art. 39 Tourist Code); – parameters and criteria for adjusting the price of the trip (Art. 40 Tourist Code). The organiser will also include any further special conditions in the data sheet. At the time of concluding the contract, the organiser will also inform passengers of the identity of the actual carrier(s), subject to the provisions of Art. 11 of EC Regulation 2111/2005, and of its/their possible inclusion in the so-called ‘black list’ provided for by the same Regulation.
The booking proposal must be made on the appropriate contract form, if necessary electronic, filled in in all its parts and signed by the client, who will receive a copy. The acceptance of bookings is considered complete, with the consequent conclusion of the contract, only when the organiser sends confirmation, also by electronic system, to the tourist at the intermediary travel agency. The organiser will provide, prior to departure, any information relating to the tourist package that is not contained in the contractual documents, brochures or other means of written communication, as provided for by Art. 37, paragraph 2 of the Tourist Code. Pursuant to Art. 32, paragraph 2 of the Tourist Code, in the case of contracts concluded at a distance or off business premises (as defined respectively by Art. 50 and 45 of Legislative Decree 206/2005), the organiser reserves the right to communicate in writing the non-existence of the right of withdrawal provided for by Art. 64 et seq. of Legislative Decree 206/2005.
The amount of the deposit, up to a maximum of 25% of the price of the tourist package, to be paid at the time of booking or at the time of the binding request and the date by which, before departure, the balance must be paid, are shown in the catalogue, brochure or whatever. Failure to pay the above-mentioned sums on the established dates constitutes an express termination clause that will determine, on the part of the intermediary agency and/or the organiser, the legal termination of the contract.
The price of the tourist package is determined in the contract, with reference to what is indicated in the catalogue or programme not included in the catalogue and any subsequent updates of the same catalogues or programmes not included in the catalogue. It may be varied up to 20 days prior to departure and only as a result of changes in: – transport costs, including the cost of fuel; – duties and taxes on certain types of tourist services such as taxes, fees or charges for landing, disembarkation or embarkation at ports and airports; – exchange rates applied to the package in question. For such variations, reference will be made to the exchange rates and costs referred to above in force on the date of publication of the programme, as reported in the catalogue data sheet, or on the date reported in any updates referred to above. The fluctuations will affect the package price in the percentage expressly indicated in the technical sheet of the catalogue or programme not included in the catalogue.
9. MODIFICATION OR CANCELLATION OF THE TOURIST PACKAGE BEFORE DEPARTURE
Before departure, the organiser or the intermediary who needs to significantly modify one or more elements of the contract, must immediately inform the tourist in writing, indicating the type of modification and the change in price that will result. If the tourist does not accept the proposed amendment referred to in paragraph 1, he may exercise the right to either repurchase the sum already paid or to enjoy the offer of a replacement tourist package pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 10. The tourist may also exercise the above-mentioned rights when the cancellation depends on the failure to reach the minimum number of participants specified in the catalogue or in the programme not included in the catalogue, or in cases of force majeure and unforeseeable circumstances relating to the purchased tourist package. For cancellations other than those caused by force majeure, unforeseeable circumstances and failure to reach the minimum number of participants, as well as for those other than the tourist’s non-acceptance of the alternative tourist package offered, the organiser who cancels (Art. 33 lett. e Cod. Cons.) will refund the tourist twice the amount paid and collected by the organiser, through the travel agent. The sum to be refunded will never be more than double the amounts that the tourist would owe on the same date, according to the provisions of Art. 10, paragraph 4, if he/she were to cancel.
10. WITHDRAWAL OF THE TOURIST
The tourist may withdraw from the contract, without paying penalties, in the following cases: – increase in the price referred to in Article 8 above to an extent exceeding 10%; – significant modification of one or more elements of the contract objectively configurable as fundamental for the enjoyment of the tourist package as a whole and proposed by the organiser after the conclusion of the contract itself but before departure and not accepted by the tourist. In the above cases, the tourist has the right: – to use an alternative tourist package, with no extra charge or with the restitution of the excess price, if the second package is of a lower value than the first; – to the restitution of only the part of the price already paid. This refund must be made within seven working days of receipt of the request for reimbursement. The tourist must give notice of his or her decision (to accept the change or to withdraw) within and no later than two working days from the time he or she received the notice of increase or change. In the absence of express communication within the above-mentioned period, the proposal made by the organiser is considered accepted. A tourist who withdraws from the contract before departure outside the cases listed in the first paragraph, or in the case provided for in Article 7, paragraph 2, will be charged – regardless of the payment of the deposit referred to in Article 7, paragraph 1 – the individual cost of practical management, the penalty to the extent indicated in the data sheet of the Catalogue or Programme not included in the catalogue or tailor-made trip, any amount of insurance coverage already required at the time of conclusion of the contract or for other services already rendered. In the case of pre-established groups, these sums will be agreed on a case-by-case basis when the contract is signed.
11. CHANGES AFTER DEPARTURE
If, after departure, the organiser is unable to provide for any reason whatsoever, except for the tourist’s own fault, an essential part of the services contemplated in the contract, he will have to arrange alternative solutions, with no extra charge to the contracting party and if the services provided are of a lower value than those foreseen, he will reimburse the contracting party for the difference. If no alternative solution is possible, or if the solution provided by the organiser is refused by the tourist for proven and justified reasons, the organiser will provide, at no extra charge, a means of transport equivalent to the original one provided for the return to the place of departure or to a different place possibly agreed, subject to availability of means and places, and will reimburse him to the extent of the difference between the cost of the services provided and the cost of the services provided up to the time of the early return.
The renouncing tourist may be replaced by another person provided that: a) the organiser is informed in writing at least 4 working days before the date fixed for departure, receiving at the same time communication about the reasons for the replacement and the personal details of the transferee; b) the transferee meets all the conditions for the use of the service (ex art. b) the transferee meets all the conditions for the use of the service (pursuant to Art. 39 of the Tourism Code) and in particular the requirements relating to passports, visas and health certificates; c) the same services or other replacement services can be provided following the replacement; d) the substitute reimburses the organiser for all additional expenses incurred in making the replacement, to the extent that will be quantified before the transfer. The transferor and the transferee are jointly and severally liable for payment of the balance of the price as well as the amounts referred to in letter d) of this article. Any further terms and conditions of replacement shall be indicated in the data sheet.
13. OBLIGATIONS OF TOURISTS
13. During negotiations and in any case prior to the conclusion of the contract, Italian citizens shall be provided with general information – updated to the date of publication of the site – concerning passport and visa conditions, including approximate times for obtaining visas and health formalities in the country of destination.
For travel outside the EU, Italian citizens are normally required to have a passport with a residual validity of 6 months, sometimes a visa. All up-to-date information on which documents are necessary for Italian citizens can be found on the Ministry’s official website: www.viaggiaresicuri.it . For each country, under the heading “general information”, you will find the documents required to enter the country.
13.2. For the rules concerning the expatriation of Italian minors, please refer expressly to what is indicated on the State Police website. It should be noted, however, that minors must be in possession of an individual document valid for expatriation (passport, or for EU countries, an identity card valid for expatriation with indication of the names of the parents). Minors under the age of 14 and minors requiring authorisation from the judicial authorities must follow the instructions on the State Police website http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/191/.
13.3. Foreign citizens must be in possession of an individual passport and an entry visa, if required, and will be able to obtain the necessary and updated information through their diplomatic representations in Italy and/or their respective official government information channels.
13.4 Before departure, travellers must check with the competent authorities (for Italian citizens: the local police headquarters or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the website www.viaggiaresicuri.it or the Telephone Operations Centre on 06.491115) that their documents are in order with the indications provided and that they comply with them in good time before the start of the package. In the absence of such verification, no responsibility for the missed departure of one or more travellers can be attributed to the seller or the organiser.
13.5 Travellers must in any case inform the seller and the organiser of their nationality before requesting a booking and, at the time of departure, must ensure that they are in possession of vaccination certificates, individual passports and any other document valid for all the countries involved in the itinerary, as well as residence visas, transit visas and any health certificates that may be required.
13.6. Furthermore, in order to assess the socio-political and health security situation and any other useful information regarding the countries and places of destination and in their immediate vicinity and, therefore, the objective usability of the services purchased or to be purchased and any substantial impact on the execution of the package, the traveller must obtain official information of a general nature from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and divulged through the institutional website of the Farnesina www.viaggiaresicuri.it. The above information cannot always be contained in catalogues, even online, as they contain descriptive information of a general nature and not information subject to change by official authorities. Up-to-date information should therefore be assumed by the traveller by viewing all the information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website www.viaggiaresicuri.it (tabs “Countries”, “health while travelling” and “warnings”) or the Operations Centre on n 06491115 and on the WHO website via www. who.int. who.int The traveller is obliged, on the basis of the principle of due diligence, to check the accuracy of his personal documents and those of any minors, as well as to obtain documents valid for foreign travel according to the rules of his own country and the conventions that regulate the matter. The traveller must see to the completion of the relevant formalities, bearing in mind that the seller or the organiser are not obliged to provide visas or documents. 13.7 If at the time of booking the destination chosen is, according to the institutional information channels, subject to “discouragement” or “warning” for security reasons, the traveller who subsequently exercises the withdrawal cannot invoke, for the purposes of exemption or reduction of the claim for compensation for the withdrawal made, the lack of contractual cause related to the security conditions of the country. 13.8. Travellers must also comply with the rules of normal prudence and diligence and with the specific rules in force in the countries to which the trip is destined, with all the information provided to them by the organiser, as well as with the regulations and administrative or legislative provisions relating to the tourist package. Travellers will be held liable for all damages that the organiser and/or the seller may suffer as a result of failure to comply with the above obligations, including the costs necessary for their repatriation. Furthermore, the organiser may require the traveller to pay a reasonable cost for the assistance provided, if the problem is caused intentionally by the traveller or through his fault, within the limits of the expenses incurred. 13.9. The traveller is obliged to provide the organiser or the seller with all the documents, information and elements in his possession that are useful for the exercise of the right of recourse against those persons who caused or contributed to the occurrence of the circumstances or the event from which the compensation, the reduction of the price, the indemnity or other obligations in question are derived, as well as the right of recourse against the organiser or the seller, the compensation or other obligations in question as well as those obliged to provide assistance and accommodation services under other provisions, in the event that the traveller is unable to return to the place of departure, as well as for the exercise of the right of subrogation against third parties responsible for the damage and is liable to the organiser for the prejudice caused to the right of subrogation.
13.10. The traveller must always communicate TEMPORARILY to the organiser, also through the seller, any lack of conformity found during the execution of the package.