The legal and regulatory framework for the travel and tourism sector refers to governing rules that affect the decision-making in the tourism sector. In this report, the different legal and regulatory frameworks for the travel and tourism sector are considered which affect the business.
- Understanding of legal and regulatory frameworks existed within the travel and tourism sector
- Understanding of legislation and regulations relating to health, safety, and security in the travel and tourism sector
- Understanding consumer protection legislation existed within the tour and travel industry.
Legal and regulatory framework for travel and tourism sector refers to governing rules that affects the decision making in tourism sector. In this report, the different legal and regulatory frameworks for the travel and tourism sector are considered which affect the business. Surface, sea and air transport laws within the legal and regulatory framework. Legislations for consumer protection related to travel and tourism customer. CSR policy adopted and Ethical dilemmas faced by travel and tourism sector.
1.1 Legal and regulatory framework for travel and tourism sector
Legal framework is the system for decision making of the tourism sector under the rules determined by the governing body. Below discussed are some legislations involved in tourism sector:
Development of Tourism Act, 1969: Introduced to focus upon coordination among organisations involved in Tourism sector.
Transport Act 1980&1985: It reduced the restrictions on private buses through terminating licensing.
Package Travel, Holiday and Package Tours Regulations, 1992: Main aim of this legislation is establishing tour operators' responsibility towards customers and providing remedies to them (Gibson, 2016).
1.2 Surface, sea and air transport law in relation to the carriage of passengers
Below explained are the laws related to carriage of passengers in surface, sea and air transport:
Surface Transport Law: Carriage of Passenger by Road Act, 1979 formulates and protects the passengers and provides remedies against physical/mental damage and loss of luggage. It also protects the interest of disabled persons (Deonandan, 2015).
Sea Transport Law: In sea transport law the protocol of 2002 made it compulsory for taking insurance for traveller by the tour operator. It ensures safeguards and security of passengers and their luggages and provides remedies against damages to passengers (Van Hoof and Pennings, 2018).
Air Transport Law: Air transport law legislation aims safety of air passengers and implements rules regarding carriage. And also, ensures the passengers' rights to redressal for personal injury or damage.
2.1 Impacts of principles of health, safety and security legislation
To provide quality travel and tourism services, safety and security of travellers is important. By providing safe and secure environment the tourism sector can attain success (Greenwood and Dwyer, 2015). If health and safety of the travellers are not managed well, it can adversely impact on the profitability and sustainability of Thomas Cook. Company take various measures regarding the health and safety of their customers. They have to make the customers learn about various rights and remedies available to them. Company has to insure their customer and their luggage. Company has to ensure that the place is safe and free of harm. Thomas Cook has to ensure safe accommodation and other services through considering the set duties and responsibilities.
Health, safety and security legislation mainly focus on possible hazards in travel and tourism sector. Therefore, it assists to ensure that risk of accident minimised. Primary objective is to maintain safety in all respect in working environment. They are also helped facilitate people to properly comply with important legislation. If Thomas Cook Group manager visitors health and safety, they can positively encourage several members of the organisation. However, when it is not managed well, adverse incidents can create significant impact on profitability and sustainability of each individual in the organisation, community and destination. When they feel threatened or unsafe, it creates impact on length of stay and expenditure in a particular destination to decrease likelihood of repeat visitation and word of mouth referrals (Frolova, Rogach and Shimanskaya, 2017).
Prior to confirming tour arrangements, all accommodation, transport, etc. checked to ensure they comply with statutory risks regulations that are required at particular location. With this consideration, standards are maintained with carried regularly assessment either with qualified staff or local agents. Travel adventure insists that all people who travel are covered either with comprehensive insurance of using their own to satisfied and provide adequate organiser liability and repatriation.
2.2 Legislation related to equality with reference of Thomas Cook
Equality refers to treating every one equally. Legislation under travel and tourism sector ensures that everyone is treated equally irrespective of their gender, age and race as well as they are not been discriminated (McCabe and Diekmann, 2015). The Equality act, 2010 is combined of different acts like Sex discrimination act, 1975; Race relation act 1976; Disability discrimination act 1995; etc. Sex discrimination act, 1975 prevents the interest of men and women from discrimination. Race relation act, 1976 prevents discrimination on the basis of nationality, colour, race, etc. Disability discrimination act, 2005 protect the interest of a disabled person from being discriminated (Hall, Gossling and Scott, 2015). Thomas Cook ensures that no person, whether their customers or employees are discriminated on the basis of age, gender, race, disability, colour, etc. They ensure that all are treated equally.
In addition to this, Sex Discrimination Act 1975 helps to protect interest of men and women from the ground of sex. With this regard, employment, training, harassment, etc. things focused to protect employees at chosen business. Furthermore, Race Discrimination Act 1976 was established to prevent discrimination on the ground of race, colour, nationality, etc. Along with this, Disability Discrimination Act 2005 has been made in unlawful for the operators to discriminate on the basis of disability. Different kinds of discrimination recognised under the different legislation such as direct, indirect and perceptive (Petrevska and Cingoski, 2017).
3.1 Contract legislation in relation to travel and tourism customers
Contract is a legal agreement for acceptance of both party’s terms and conditions. Under contract legislation regarding travel and tourism, once both; customer and tour operator agree on a package, its then tour operator’s responsibility to ensure that the services are provided (Burns, 2015). Holiday regulation, 1992 states that tour operator provide details regarding the package and services to their customers. Tour operator after providing accommodation they must ensure that appropriate services are provided to the customers. Due to contract travel operator is liable to provide all services to its customers. In case of non-providence of any services they are liable and can be charged by customers.
In order to determine appropriate contract legislation in relation with travel and tourism sector, it is essential to focus on standard elements such as:
Consumer protection legislation in relation with travel and tourism customers
Customer protection legislation protects the interest and rights of customers from Tour operators and travel agencies (Jenkins and Mkono, 2015). Flowing are some consumer protection legislation for travel and tourism customers:
Trade Description Act, 1968: It protects from false or misleading description by the provider and protect the interest of customers from cheating and fraud agency.
Customer Protection Act, 1987: It protects the interest of customers from fraud and unfair business practices and ensuring the health and safety of the customer (Hall, Gossling and Scott, 2015).
Package Travel regulation, 1992: Lays rules for tour operators and travel agencies to follow such as ensuring the proper transport, accommodation, and other services.
In addition to this, there are several standards officers have responsibilities to check the following:
The Package Travel Regulations of 1992 assure miscommunication shall be corrected at the end of service provider to make necessary arrangements. It explicit provides minimum requirements for a particular contract in holiday contract. With valid work, it can be stated that there are two or more than two facilities such as accommodation, transport and other tourists services needed.
4.1 Ethical issues faced by travel and tourism sector
Lots of ethical issues are been brought in the travel and tourism industry such as leakage of income, unethical consumer issue, green issue ethics, ethics of employment and false advertisement ethics (Burns, 2015). One of the most common issue is Leakage as only a small amount is stayed in the local as customer pay for holiday most of is spent on foreign market. Green issue ethic is also a major issue in travel and tourism sector, for attracting visitors using a lot of water for nice holiday resort with green plants, swimming pools, etc., is unethical as many local people are facing water crises.
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Travel agency face several kinds of unethical competition such as extremely low prices. Thomas Cook Group can overcome these issues and problems with creating code of ethics that enable to act in harmony with host countries and accomplish competitive advantages. Country also provide prior to travelling with all information regarding the nation so that information for safety and health risks has been successfully developed easily. In addition to this, the chosen business also encourage in respect to local environment so that code of ethics also followed at workplace (Sharpley and Telfer, 2015). Furthermore, employment of child labour as helpers, sales representatives also exists in developing nations. Hence, unemployment conditions and increasing level of poverty also forced to earn in recognise the law.
In the different nations, findings must be successfully develop to promote legislation that governing rights of women work. It also increases equal opportunities that can be successfully develop in recent study to reduce discrimination at workplace. In the research, it has been identified that dilemmas that directly create impact on tourism industry. Racial discrimination, sexual harassment, harming natural resources and selling unhealthy food, etc. Due to these reasons, customers get wide impact on their personal life (Becken, Mahon and Shakeela, 2014). As a result, it can be stated that it requires to provide appropriate goods, embezzlement that offer financial misconduct.
4.2 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy of a Thomas Cook
CSR policy refers to social strategies used by an organisation to give back it shares to the society. Such as environment protection, employment, sustainable development, etc. Tourism business practices CSR as landscapes, social-cultural values are its inherent feature (Jenkins and Mkono, 2015).
Thomas Cook recognises and promotes corporate social responsibility which are as follows:
- Promoting social and cultural values
- Giving fair rates to customers
- Protecting nature and wildlife
- Promoting charity and fund raising
- Employee engagement
Corporate social responsibility is important concept in management in which companies integrated social and environmental concerns in business operations and interactions. With stakeholders, CSR activities generally promoted to accomplish economic balance, environmental and social imperatives to address expectation of several people. Concept of CSR underpinned with idea that corporations can longer act as isolated in order to operate detachment from broader society (de la Barre, Maher and Stewart, 2016). In Thomas Cook Group, trade and investment opportunities continuously expanded which helps to provide leisure travel opportunities for individual and families. Hence, customers love to fly and concerns with issues which create impact on environment and local communities. In order to ensure and address these issues, sustainability continuously grow with respecting and implementing corporate social responsibilities.
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In the chosen organisation, CSR policy can be successfully implemented as social perspective that offer support in form of funding, free flights, etc. Merchandising cargo space and fund raising events also helps to support and implement priorities that support education and youth development. Furthermore, it assists to concentrate on colleagues, environment, sustainable tourism and heritage, etc. (Aureli and Forlani, 2015). Community and conservation started in 1984 so that they provide project in all over the world to develop more significant advantages. Charitable work also supported to get volunteering awards with certain scheme.
On the basis of the study, it could be concluded that the legislation in tourism helps to protect the interest of the customers and also helps in developing and increasing the number of visitors in a destination place. Different laws regarding the carriage of passengers through the surface, sea, and air transport develop a safe and healthy traveling environment and protects the interest of the travelers, and make them aware of remedies available for them. Tourism sectors consider ethics and corporate social responsibility for an ethical and contributing tourism business.