Le­gal no­tice re­gard­ing in­sol­vency fund for pack­age trav­ellers

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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

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