Cura Italia, the Antitrust Decree: tourism vouchers must be refundable

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Italian care decree

The Authority warns that without a correction “it will intervene to ensure the correct application of the provisions of Community source by disapplying the national legislation conflicting with them”

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(photo Ansa)

The Authority warns that without a correction “it will intervene to ensure the correct application of the provisions of Community source by disapplying the national legislation conflicting with them”

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Tourist vouchers must be refundable. This is what the Antitrust claims, which has sent a report to this effect to the government and Parliament, given the rule of the Cura Italia decree which allows operators in the tourism sector to issue a voucher – in place of reimbursement – to “restore” travel, flights and hotels canceled due to exceptional circumstances and subjective situations associated with the emergency from Covid-19.

Solution in conflict with European legislation
The law, for the Antitrust Authority, is in conflict with European legislation and the Authority warns that without a correction “it will intervene to ensure the correct application of the provisions of Community source by disapplying the national legislation that conflicts with them”.

According to article 88 bis of Cura Italia, explains the Antitrust Authority, this compensation can replace the refund without the need for a specific acceptance by the consumer. In reporting to Parliament and the government, the Authority highlighted that article 88-bis is in contrast with current European legislation, which in the case of cancellation for unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, provides for the consumer’s right to obtain a refund.

The Commission’s position
The position taken by the European Commission in the Recommendation of 13 May 2020 highlights that the operator can legitimately offer a voucher, but on condition that travelers are not deprived of the right to a cash refund. The Commission also noted that, due to the serious losses in the tourism sector resulting from the fact that requests for reimbursement made by travelers far exceed the level of new bookings, consumers should be encouraged to accept vouchers. A wide acceptance of vouchers, in fact, would help to mitigate the sector’s liquidity problems to the benefit of the interests of travelers too, since if the organizers or carriers become insolvent, many travelers and passengers may not receive any refund.

The conditions for considering vouchers as an alternative to reimbursement
In order for vouchers to be considered a valid and reliable alternative to cash refunds, they should have some characteristics, including insurance coverage for the possible bankruptcy of the tour operator or carrier and the right to a cash refund if the voucher expires the consumer will not have used it.



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https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/decreto-cura-italia-l-antitrust-voucher-turismo-devono-essere-rimborsabili-ADbhtwT

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