Cornerstones decided for a voucher-based solution

Support for the travel branch Cornerstones decided for a voucher-based solution

When package deals are cancelled, the organisers may offer customers vouchers rather than reimbursing the cost of the holiday, on a voluntary basis. Today the German government has agreed the cornerstones for a regulation of this sort. Given the ongoing crisis, the aim is to avoid pushing organisers into insolvency.

The photo shows a poster advertising a package deal.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the travel branch hard

Photo: picture alliance / Fotostand

In this the German government is complying with the EU Package Travel Directive and with the recommendations of the European Commission. The Cabinet will soon adopt a bill laying out these provisions.

The cornerstones provide for the following:

  • For travel booked prior to 8 March 2020, which could not take place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, travel organisers can offer customers vouchers for the sum paid, rather than an immediate reimbursement.
  • The German government will guarantee the full amount of the voucher with a supplementary state guarantee in addition to the statutory protection against insolvency of the organiser. This is intended to make the vouchers attractive to customers, whose position will be improved. Should a large number of customers insist on immediate repayment, they might push the organiser into insolvency, meaning that it might not be possible to enforce their entitlement to reimbursement.
  • The vouchers apply only to cancellations resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the guarantees will apply for a limited period. They can be redeemed once the current travel restrictions are lifted.
  • Travellers who do not wish to accept the voucher will receive the immediate reimbursement to which they are entitled.
  • If the voucher is not redeemed by the end of 2021, the value of the original price paid must be paid immediately to the customer.

In addition, the German government intends to modify the existing assistance programme for the German economy in the very near future to embrace specific support measures for the package travel branch.