Legal notice regarding insolvency fund for package travellers
Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis yesterday launched a legal notice that would set up an insolvency fund for package travel.
Through this fund, package travel operators will guarantee the funds of those who have booked outgoing packages through licensed operators in case one of the companies becomes insolvent. The fund would not go below €500,000 and if it does, the package travel operators would need to top it up.
The initial €500,000 will be paid equally among the operators, but from year one, it would depend on the amount of packages sold by an operator. There are some 70 operators.
A managing board would be set up to oversee the operation of the fund. Operators will be bound to issue certificates to consumers who purchase package travel, and consumers will only be eligible for refunds, should the operator go bankrupt, if they have such certificates. In addition, information regarding these certificates and details of packages sold will be made available online for operators themselves, as well as the board.
A small fee will be charged with each issue of a certificate to consumers.
The minister also said that through the issuing of certificates, he hopes that any possible unlicensed operators would be caught out.
Back in 2013, a spotlight was shone onto the issue when Fantasy Tours went bankrupt, and a number of trips were cancelled even though they were paid for.
Payments for past incidents will not be covered through this legal notice.
Edward Zammit Lewis