Regulatory Measures for Tourism Operators due to COVID-19 in Turkey: Package Tour Contracts16 May, 2020
As part of ongoing regulatory measures in fighting the ripple effects of COVID-19, Turkish government focuses on industry basis and adopt new measures. Regulation on Amending the Package Tour Contracts Regulation” (“the Regulation”) dated May 15, 2020 is one of those for long waited travel agencies and tourism operators. Accordingly, with a provisional article added to the existing regulation, it is essential that the refunds shall be made within fourteen days of the notice of termination reaching the package tour organizer or agent. However, it is stipulated that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the flight price which is paid and documented by the package tour organizer or its agent to the air transport companies, subject to the package tour contracts which is expected to be executed as of February 5, 2020 and includes air transportation, shall be refunded to the customer, within fourteen days following the flight bans are lifted.
In addition, corresponding to the Regulation, the price paid by the participant except tax, fees and similar costs arising from legal obligations, shall be refunded within fourteen days following the sixtieth day of the flight bans are lifted, provided that the customer is informed and explicitly approved. By the virtue of the new Regulation, the burden of proof belongs to the package tour organizer or its agent, in terms of informing the customer and receiving its approval on choosing the first or second paragraph in writing or with the permanent data keeper.
Şafak Herdem, Ezgi Ceren Aydoğmuş