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Travel and tourism is a very vast sector in the service industry which contributes a large ratio in economic development of the country. It can be said that with changing time people are now travelling for different reason. Purpose of travelling can be anything such as education, business, adventure, tours and many more things. With this regard, government has updated their polices and legislation in order to protect traveller as well as travel companies and other agencies. This report is based on Thomas Cook, a travel agency that offers tourism related service to travellers like transportation services, hotels booking etc. The report describes about legal and regulatory framework in travel and tourism sector (Aldebert, Dang and Longhi, 2011). It also explains about different legislation related to health, security and safety in tourism sector. It further discusses about consumer protection legislation in travel industry. It also includes elaboration the role of business ethics and its dilemmas faced by travel agencies. And at last, it evaluates various corporate social responsibility policies of travel and tourism business.
Legal and regulatory framework are developed by the government as it is formulated for the purpose of sustainable development of same industry. In relation to travel and tourism sector, the legal framework of tourism are formulated for the purpose of protecting travellers as well as organisation who are related to it. According to the case scenario, travel law consultant of consultant company is required to develop an organised matter which can give brief description to the retail travel consultant on legal and regulatory framework. And some of these legislation are described as below:
Health and Safety Executive (HSE): It is considered as the body which is mainly responsible for regulation and emphasizes on ensuring safety and welfare to all the related person at workplace. It can be said that this association also conducts research for the purpose of attaining relevant information regarding organisational risk which might occur in future at workplace. This gathered information is helpful for organisation as it provides safety to all connected stakeholder like employees, customers, investors and management in the working environment of company.
International Air Transport Association (IATA): It is considered as global trade association of world's airlines. Main mission of this association is to avail best services to its members in order to develop the level of airport transport industry. International Air Transport Association has its a approach over the globe.
Strategic Rail Authority (SRA): Strategic rail authority is a non departmental public association of United Kingdom whose main objective is give strategic direction to overall railway industry. It also looks over the regulation related to safety for the customers as well as employees.The association motives to develop interest of customers towards railway services by ensuring them security during their travel.
Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA): It is a travel brand which provides advices and suggestion to traveller as well as travel companies across the world. The travel agents who are associated with our members provides safe and protection guidance which assures high quality of travel experience and holidays to customers.
Magistrate Court: Magistrate court is lower court in which mainly trails of summary offences are conducted. The lower court also deals with some of serious preliminary hearings. The magistrate court of England and Wales also discusses some of the civil and family issues which are resolved at the same time.
County Court: At country level, issues of more than one country are resolved. The country court of England and Wales make discussion about disputes and conflicts between people.
Role of Solicitor: Solicitor is the person who usually assists and advices on legal matters. These solicitors are directly directed by client only for resolving the overall issue. Role of Solicitor is to represent their in court along with their work of legal documentation . They also conducts research on several cases and legislation for understanding actual case in effective manner.
Role of Barrister: Barrister are the one who provides legal suggestions to clients regarding their case in order to support to them. Role of Barristers include overall justification of case by gathering information from various sources. With help of collected details and evidence it is easier for them to declare that whether the person is innocent or faulty.
Legal and regulatory frameworks are formulated by government of United Kingdom in order to protect travellers. There are numerous of laws which contributes in minimising the risk of passengers during their whole travel. In relation to this, government of UK have initiated many laws related to surface, air transport and area for the purpose of protecting customers from damage of their luggage.
Surface Law: Surface law of nation is regulated and governed by International Carriage of Passenger by Road Act, 1979. This legislation is framed by authorities for protecting travellers that are on board. For this, they had made strict rules in respect to permission to passengers to move from one location to another. This act helps them to claim in respect to damage or disorder in physical state of passenger while travelling on carrier. Besides this, Carriage by railway act, 1972 is another which regulate loss of items and goads while transportation.
Sea Law: This is another legislation which includes International Maritime Organisation which is constructed by United Nation. Their aim is to secure shipping for which act are formulated to regulate environment factors in respect to ship functions. International convention for safety of life at sea (SOLAS) control and frame measures in respect to protection from fire. They provide lifesaving instruments and crewmembers with fighting with fire to traveller present on sea craft.
Air Transport Law: Various rules and legislation are framed by government for regulating air transportation. The Warsaw Convention, 1928 specifies act in respect to carriage travelling from one place to another. Rules in respect to documentation of passengers and items movement to another nation. There are checking which is conducted for custom department for safety and security of luggage. This helps authorities from delivery of damaged or harmful things. Montreal Conference, 1999 replaced Warsaw Convention, 1928 which define single legal tool regulating air transport law.
There are various acts and legislations are created for health, safety and security of individuals. In travel and tourism industry individuals' health is main concern and to protect this health and safety at work act 1947 is created. In this industry employers and workers plays an important role in maintaining safety and security in their organisation. The main objective of these regulations to make sure for providing harm free and safe working environment. It is employers duty to provide safety to employees from harm at workplace. In tourism industry, companies like Thomas Cook aims to provide health and security by providing good accommodations and many other services by fulfilling their roles and responsibilities of service providers. Employees and employees have their own role and duties which they have to fulfil.As per Health and safety act, 1974, there are some steps which should be taken by Thomas Cook are as follows:
This act laid down duties and responsibilities of employers and employees.
Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and 1984
Occupiers Liability Act 1957: Occupier is any person who have control of premises. In case of Thomas Cook, owner is responsible for all the visitors' safety who use their premises.
Occupiers Liability Act 1984: It is occupier's responsibility to have all knowledge related to the danger which can provide harm to their visitors. They also have duties to make sure that any non visitor does not suffer from any kind of injury from danger in their premises.
Data Protection Act of 1998
It provides rights to individuals related to their information to ensure that there personal data is safe. Information of visitors includes their personal information like contact number, permanent address, bank details, etc. This act includes eight principles for processing personal data of individuals:
Principle 1: Information of individuals should be taken with consent, without any fear or influence.
Principle 2: Collected information should be used for specific purposes without their prior permission.
Principle 3: Company should collect sufficient information.
Principle 4: Information should be updated.
Principle 5: Company should not hold individuals' information for long period.
Principle 6: Collected data should be only used by company.
Principle 7: Responsibility to protect individual's information.
Principle 8: Information must be keep within the company.
There are different laws regarding the to boosting the performance of tourism and the British tourist authority has made different legislation regarding the development in tourism in the united kingdom. An act is also made by British government which is development tourism act 1969 which helps the tourism company like Thomas Cook Ltd in gaining the financial assistance for the business, as in this act provision are made regarding establishments and registration process of the hotels which helps is making equality of business which helps in making business profitability of Thomas Cook Ltd . While for benefit of customer the sleeping accommodation is also provided according the medium through which they travel. The authority is also made under this act which is more flexible then the previous one.
The race discrimination act 1976 is also made which ensures there should be no discrimination regarding the race, nationality and colour in the field of employment. This law helps in establishment of the equality and to prevent the discrimination. In Thomas Cook Ltd the travel agents should work in such environment in which the company should consider the importance and quality of people and the law could be made within the company so that the tourist or the person travelling in Thomas Cook Ltd feels comfortable and this will helps the business to grow as the tourist travel in the company would feel equal to the other people.
In context with Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, Thomas cook is helpful in generating employment opportunities in the sector of tour and travels in the United Kingdom. This act or legislation will provide humongous exploration in the sector of tour related opportunities such as transportation, infrastructure and places and monuments. It is important to amend such legislation time by time to look over gap arise in the job opportunities to the youth of nation. There will be a huge scope of rise in the business sector, inflow of money into the nation and better relation with other nations. Equality act, 2010 is amended version of act of 1974, which comes with discrimination act, 1976. It tells about equal treaty of people on the basis of their quality and importance rather than any such kind of creeds, caste-ism and religion. It deals with equal opportunity to everyone by not judging their caste and religion.
In context with Thomas Cook, it is important for the government of United Kingdom to develop and amend law and legislation time to time to maintain the equal opportunities and avoiding any such kind of discrimination in the sector of tours & travel in the UK as well as Worldwide. Thomas cook must take various law and equality matter seriously to take take ahead the tours & travel in the United Kingdom.
A contract is defined as the legal relationship among two or more persons (parties) who are associated with each other in order to exchange goods and services with inclusion of laws. It can be said that every travel agency is binded with the legal laws which includes its customer in it. The contract of travel company includes destination, duration of travel, cost, departure, arrival etc. There are many elements for legal contract law of travel and tourism sector which are described as below:
Elements of Contract Law:
Offer and acceptance: Under this element, when one party offers their goods to other party and if the other party have accepted that offer then both the parties have successfully entered into contract. In relation to the travel industry, if any family has booked their holiday package from travel agency which includes their transportation, hotel stay etc. For entering into a contract then they fill up the form in which all the desired details are specified properly. It is considered as a legal offer and when the same party has agreed to the same contract then it seems to be acceptance.
Consideration: It refers to money or something of interest which is exchanged between the parties for making the whole contract legal. Without any consideration of acceptance, it can be said that contract is not legal.
Capacity: It refers to the capability of parties while they are entering into the contract. According to the legal laws, it can be said that capacity of parties posses as soundness of mind, travellers must be above 18 years of age. In relation to travel industry, Thomas cook only give preference to those passengers who are above the age of 18 years.
Certainty: It describes about the rules and regulations which are required to communicated to both the parties. In order to make the contract valid, it is important to be clear all essential details of contract all relevant parties.
In relation to travel and tourism industry there are different types of contract which exist in the same sector. Types of contract of travel and tourism sector are described as below:
Contract of Supply of Goods: As per the law of supply of goods and services act 1988, This type of contract states that it is mandatory for the suppliers to supply all goods and services according to contract only. As customers have entered into the contract which have increased there expectation regarding their trip only. And if tour operator have not provided similar kind of the goods and services during the travel duration of customer then it will break overall contract.
Contract Related to Package Holiday: It can be said that the contracts which are related to holiday package include many terms conditions which are valid for the both traveller as well as tourism company. According to this type of contract, every single detail related to the package is clearly mentioned such as day of departure, time duration of whole travel, places of visit, hotel name, transportation mode etc.
Consumer protection legislation are formulated by authorities for safety and security of rights and interests of people. Different laws and rules are frame which tour and travel firm require to follow while conducting business. This helps customers to prevent themselves from getting violated by travel agents. Management of Thomas Cook require to consider consumer protection legislations which are stated below:
In the sector of travel and tourism agencies who are running their business in this field have to face many problems and it is mostly related to extremely low prices. This kind of issues can be eradicated by formulating code of ethics. As a result, it will enable company in performing their task in harmony and in speculated time frame. Ethics is considered as a discipline that assist superiors in examine good or bad practice in relation with moral duty. Thomas Cook has certain rules and norms which they follows in order to provide best quality services to sits clients. For example: prior to travelling company is providing every detail about the nation which their clients wants to visit. Other than this, Thomas Cook is against false advertisements ethics, ethics of employment etc.,
Therefore, on the basis of trends which is going in the market Thomas Cook's first choice is to make all their holidays as all-inclusive so that maximum number of people can be attracted towards the organisation. Leakage of income, is one of the very common problem which is faced by company in context with all-inclusive package holidays because in this, money that was usually meant for enhancing the quality of life of citizens is not not utilised in a proper manner and instead of this small percentage of money is being used. Other than this, for Thomas Cook safeguarding the natural resources and environment is the top priority in terms of code of ethics of the organisation. Henceforth, company can plan activities in such a manner that flow of tourist can be smoothed without affecting environment.
In terms of travel and tourism, they can face ethical dilemmas in four areas and these are explained below:
Supply Chain: Thomas Cook can have an option of different supply chain who can provide better outcomes or results in terms of increasing profitability and sales in a speculated time frame. For them dilemmas can be of selecting right suppliers who are fulfilling all the needs and wants of clients.
Local Community: In some circumstances resources that are available are are limited and in that case use of enclave tourism is unethical as per the local people who are living there. Capturing their land and limiting their resources can put companies in travel and tourism in dilemmas as they want their income to get increased and on the other side they don't want to harm the sentiments of local people living in that place.
Corporate Social Responsibility: It is a management concept in which companies incorporate factors concerning social and environmental issues. CSR can be said as a way through which company tend to maintain a balance between economic, environmental and social imperatives. Under this, there are some responsibilities that are to be followed by Companies and these are mentioned below for better understanding:
Therefore, CSR is a responsibility that which is responsible for providing benefits to society using different means and resources.
Thomas Cook is one of the leading company in the sector of travel and tourism and they are doing all related work for providing better services and facilities to its travellers. Company believes in doing good for the society along with getting benefits of organisation as well. While conducting any activity they show respect to different communities and especially to those who are backward in terms of economically and socially. After the meeting conducted recently, Thomas Cook decided to focus on areas which are stated below:
Education and employability: In relation to this, Thomas Cook is providing both diploma and degree courses so a to foster skills and knowledge of individuals. This will enable people in opting for a job related to the field of travel and tourism. Mostly, Thomas Cook look forward to areas that are backward and identify families who cannot afford education.
Heath and Sanitation: In most of the areas that are tourist spots lacks in sanitation facilities therefore, Thomas Cook provides with proper sanitation and hygiene by giving friendlily toilets.
Focussing on Rural and Tribal Areas: In order to implement better services and facilities in these areas Thomas Cook is providing appropriate funds so that areas can be foster and number of travellers can increased.
As per the all the CSR activities which are done by Thomas Cook, it can be said that this travel company not only believes in its own profit which is earned from its packages. But the company also gives importance to social responsibility which is contributes in the developing world.
From the above mentioned report it has been concluded that travel and tourism is very vast sector which directly contributes in the growth of economy. Health and safety executive, IATA, SRA and ABTA are authorities which regulate and govern travel and tourism industry. They frame rules and legislation which operators require to follow for conducting business legally. Surface, sea and air transportation are law which help travellers to get safe and secure services.Health and safety act and data protection are various laws which aid passengers to get appropriate facilities. Tour operators require to provide equality to staff to make them function tasks effectively. They require that contract laws in respect to supply of luggage and services are provided to clients. Trade description, consumer protection and package tours regulations are framed for protection of rights of people. Business ethics that is corporate social responsibility in respect to travel and tourism business. It helps them in sustainability, accountability, community involvement of firm in respect to enhancement in market image and position.
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