Even if the legislative process has not yet been finally completed, the implementation of the new EU Package Travel Directive into German law is coming closer. For that reason, DRV initiated an industry project at the end of 2016 in order to analyse the impact of the new legal provisions on the industry and concretise possible technical implementations. Five working groups as well as the co-ordinating group of experts and the steering committee have intensively worked on this. “Altogether, the new legal provisions will unfortunately continue to increase the complexity in travel sales in all sales channels without any concrete need, but we will all be able to live with it and – and that’s even more important – also continue to exist as travel agencies,” Ralf Hieke, DRV Vice President for medium-sized travel agencies, sums up the current situation.
Process model for the consulting and selling Phase
The most important intermediate result of the industry project: a process model has been developed which shows the future separation into a neutral, pre-contractual consulting phase and a subsequent selling phase. Depending on the transaction, the seller must hand out corresponding forms to the customer after the neutral consulting phase. “The non-binding recommendations from the industry project initiated by DRV can serve as a basis for almost all sales activities in future, both of travel agents and online portals (OTAs) and for the own sales of tour operators and service providers,” DRV Vice President Ralf Hieke underlines the relevance for the entire industry.
During the next step the representatives of high street and online sales have defined the demands on their producer and sales systems in their working group which are now reviewed by the latter. For the experts involved, it was particularly important that the elaborated process can be practically implemented for both travel agency staff and online portals together with possible new developments in the IT field.
The entire process chain is concerned by the changes
The deliberations in the DRV working groups have clearly shown that the changes caused by the new legislation do not only concern sales but also tour operators and service providers. This applies to both own sales and the technical and procedural co-operation with the respective sales partners and the information duties vis a vis final customers.
The further DRV project work will concentrate on how the new statutory provisions can best be integrated into the processes and systems of the industry. The further schedule: the work should be completed at the same time as the legislative procedures. Because only in this way the individual industry companies have sufficient time for the technical and practical execution. If the non-binding recommendations elaborated within the DRV project are implemented by the sector’s companies into practice, they can be tailored individually to corporate and customer needs.