ACM fines tour operator for lacking insolvency protection
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has fined tour operator VoetbalOnTour because the company was selling package tours without insolvency protection. As a result, consumers would be at risk of losing their advance payments on their trips if the company were to become insolvent in the meantime. ACM has imposed a fine of 20,000 euros. The violation had occurred until June 2018.
Cateautje Hijmans van den Bergh, Member of the Board of ACM, comments: ‘Consumers have to be able to trust that tour operators have taken out insolvency protection. ACM will take action against companies that offer package holidays without insolvency protection.’
Rules on insolvency protection
VoetbalOnTour is a tour operator that offers tickets to sporting events including overnight stay, with or without flights. Such companies have to take out insolvency protection in order to prevent consumers from losing their advance payments or from being stranded at the destination should the company become insolvent. VoetbalOnTour had not yet taken out any insolvency protection, not even after ACM had pointed out to the company that it had a statutory obligation to do so. In the meantime, the company has joined guarantee fund GGTO.
In the summer of 2017, ACM drew the attention of tour operators to the rules for offering package holidays. In addition, ACM announced that it would step up its checks on tour operators, especially considering the new rules for tour operators that came into force on 1 July 2018. As a result, more operators have to take out insolvency protection. Consumers can submit any indications about tour operators without insolvency protection to ConsuWijzer (in Dutch), ACM’s consumer information portal.
- 10-01-2019 Fine imposed on tour operator VoetbalOnTour (in Dutch)