Introduction to legislation and Ethics

In present scenario Travel and tourism sector had achieved substantial growth by becoming major source of income for the economy. To regulate operations of this sector, legislation and ethics are introduced by the parliament of UK. For better management and control several Acts are commenced by government under legislation and ethics in travel and tourism sector (Carlsen, and Andersson, 2011). Objective of these legislations is to provide protection to public and to promote fair transactions. Organization operating in this sector is obliged to act in accordance with these norms else they will be obliged to pay penalty charges. Present project report aims to evaluate different statutory aspects regarding travel and tourism industry. For better understanding of legislation and statutory provisions, Thomas Cook is selected as it is one of the leading leisure travel groups. Report will include description of Acts regarding health, safety and security. Contract and consumer protection legislation will be discussed to prevent ethical dilemmas faced by the travel and tourism sector. Further Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy of Thomas Cook will be analyzed to define role of business ethics.

Package Tour 1992

In UK organization which are selling tour packages have to comply with regulations of Package tour 1992. According to this law, package tours should have details about transport facilities, accommodation and tourist information. For example if Thomas Cook is offering Holidays in Dubai, in its tour package every information is detail in its brochure such as flights, hotel for accommodation and services they will provide during holidays.

Equality Act 2010

This act of UK government evaluates about protecting the people from discrimination. For example in case of travel and tourism sector, it is essential that employer have to protect the employees from any discrimination such as religion, sex, gender etc.

Consumer Protection Art 1989: This act is for the protection of consumer of from any damage which is caused to them due to defect in products offered by seller. For example: If HF Holidays provide holiday services to its guests which is not in accordance with specification given by company, than consumer can protect themselves against defective service offered by HF Holidays.

Travel Description Act 1968: This act is for the travel and tour operators which prevent the companies from providing any misleading travel and tourism services to customers as per the money paid by them. For example: If tour operating is charging money on accommodation that customer will be accommodating in 5 star hotels, but at the time of holiday they were mislead and accommodate at 3 star hotel. In this case customer can file case against tour operator.

For better management and control of operations in travel and tourism sector, several Acts are commenced by government under regulatory frame work. Objective of these legislations is to provide protection to public and to promote fair transactions (Clayton, Jayawardena, and. Harrison, 2004). Legislation for travel and tourism sector can be categorized into criminal and civil law. Differentiation between statutory provisions of these laws is enumerated below-

Criminal law

Criminal law deals with those misconducts which are prohibited by statue. These conducts are prosecuted and punished by the government. Criminal law in UK refers to the body of law in the jurisdiction which deals with crimes and with their resulted consequences. Statutory provisions of criminal law are applied in situation of severe offences such as robbery, sexual assault, rape, arson, sexual exploitation of childrenetc (Constanti, and Zopiatis, 2007). In commercial scenario, criminal acts include fraud with customer, industrial espionage and tax evasion.If organization or employer is found guilty then defendant can be punished in following manner-

  • Execution of the defendant i.e. penalty of death
  • Penalty payable to regulatory authority
  • Confinement in jail

Civil law

As per the British legislation civil law deals with the non-criminal disputes between individual, entities or other associations. Civil crimes occurred at small and personal level does not affect society. Example of civil crime is argument over late night noise, refusal to provide appropriate services or to deliver services to an agreed level. Provisions of civil law are different from public and criminal law (Morrison, and Mahony, 2003). To claim for civil offence formality of reasonable doubt is not required, in this "preponderance of evidence" is sufficient. For remedy of damages, plaintiff is entitled to claim monetary or equitable relief.

Analyze, evaluate, and give example for

Montreal Convention: These rules are for the Air Carriage and it defines about the rules and regulations which are based on air carriage for the customers, luggage and cargo. Fo example if there is any damages to luggage of customers, then the airline company is liable for the damages.

Warsaw Convention: It is one of the international conventions which is responsible for regulating the liability of international passengers, baggage or any other products which are performed by the airline for the purpose of reward.

ABTA: It is the association of British travel agents and it is formed for enhancing the performance of travel and truism industry and responsible for maintain good practices to customers, travel and tourism agencies. For example of the customer buys any holiday package then ABTA will protect the customers from scheme of ABTA’s financial protection.

ATOL: Air Travel Organisers' Licensing is the licence which is to be occupied by the tour operators. For example: Thompson holidays cannot sale any air tickets without the licence of Air Travel Organisers' Licensing.

Athens Convention: It provides the protection to the passengers who are travelling through sea and it should be international travel.

Occupiers Liability Act 1957: This act is arising when there is any accident or injury is caused to the person and it is due to the duty of care and it is also on behalf from the side of occupier. For example: In case of Roles v Nathan it was evaluated that workmen should be warned at the time when they are doing any work in premises of occupier regarding any danger.

Occupiers Liability Act 1984: This act was the extension of act of common duty of care. It is the duty of the occupier that is there is any existence of danger in the premises than the information should be inferred to visitors or trespassers.

Statutory bodies are established by government of UK or proper applicability and assurance of fairness of statutory provisions of sea, surface and air travel sector. Description of these bodies is as follow-

Air transport

Civil Aviation Authority is developed for the management of civil aviation of entities operating in British industry. In these entities air travel companies, civil aviation in UK of air navigation and traffic associations are covered. Responsibilities of CAA are as follow-

  • Regulation of active professional and private pilots
  • Management of License aircraft engineers
  • Controlling of Air traffic
  • Management of airlines
  • Regulation of Licensed aerodromes
  • Maintenance of documents regarding Aircraft registered in the UK
  • Regulation of entities involved in the design, production and maintenance of aircraft.

CAA is also obliged to oversee operations of Air Travel Organizers’ Licensing (ATOL). As per the British statutory provisions all UK travel companies are entitled to hold an ATOL which sells air holidays and flights. Objective of this scheme is to provide assurance to the customers that their money is safe and appropriate assistance will be provided in situation of travel company failure (Pan,2008). Further rights and regulations of the transporters are described through the Act of Carriage by Air and Road Act 1979. This Act was introduced as to describe liability of the transporter. Objective of this Act to provide remedy to the consumers in situation of death or physical injury while loading unloading procedure or travelling. This Act provides rights to the regulatory authority to charge penalty against the entity for the damages or loss occurred through the facilities.

Sea transport

To govern and control act of travel and tourism through sea areas, International Carriage by Sea Act is established by the parliament of UK. This Act imposes obligation on the faulty party to reimburse damages to the injured party. Prohibition is implemented by this Act for unfair transaction in travel and tourism sector. As per the provisions of this Act, aggrieved party is entitled to claim damages for the physical and psychological injuries (Ritchie, Tung and Ritchie, 2011). In UK civil and criminal offence in sea is governed through The Offences at Sea Act 1799 (39 Geo 3 c 37). This Act provides extension to the jurisdiction of British courts for the crimes committed on high seas. However these provisions are not applied on the foreign citizens.

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Surface transport

Travel and tourism operations through road are governed by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). It operates as a trade entity for the tour operators and the travel agents. Further Carriage by Air and Road Act 1979 is established by UK parliament for the protection of rights of consumers. As per this Act, carrier is legally responsible for the damage sustained in the event of the destruction or loss of, or damage to, cargo during the carriage by air, road or sea.

Entities operating in the sector of travel and tourism are obliged to follow all the legislations regarding health, safety and security. Impact of these legislations can be evaluated through following Acts-

Health and safety at work Act, 1974- This Act describes general obligation of the employers regarding employees, contractors, suppliers or good and for substances used in the work. This Act enables a regime of regulations through particular provisions for various industries (Williamson, 2003). As per the provisions of this Act, all organizations are obliged to provide safe and hygienic work environment to employees. Employers should provide proper training for the commencement of work. In addition to this, for the critical jobs qualified person should be appointed (International Passenger Survey, Office for National Statistics, 2011). All equipments and safety measures should be checked in regular time intervals for the prevention of risk of injury. Objectives of this Act are as follow-

  • Providing assurance of security of health, safety and welfare to employees
  • To provide protection to persons other then visitors from the risk arising due to operational activities.
  • To control the use of explosive or highly flammable or other hazardous equipments.
  • To prevent unlawful acquisition, possession and use of such hazardous equipments.

Occupier’s liability Act 1984- This Act is governed by the provisions of tort law. As per this Act, occupier should take care of the actions to prevent risk of injury for visitors and other individuals. In the case of British Railways Board v Herrington 1972 AC 877 court held that occupier owes duty to trespasser however exact application of the decision was unclear (Ball, Horner and Nield, 2009). Thus on the basis of this Act, travel and tourism entities owes duty to trespasser on their land to avoid situation of negligent injury.

Data protection-As per the norms of Data protection Act 1998, travel and tourism entities should not make unauthorized use of data provided by the customers. They should maintain confidentiality until and unless data is mandatory to be revealed. Entities are entitled to reveal personal information of customers in exceptional situations such information is required under investigation of criminal offence.

Unfair contract terms 1977- According to this Act, occupier is allowed to exclude the common duty of care if the possession is used by entity for the commercial purpose. However these terms should be in accordance with statutory provisions and public policy. As per the provisions of this Act, protection by law is provided in two forms first by considering that term has been incorporated into the contract and second, court will consider that occurred loss is covered in the description of clause (Olley v Marlborough Court [1949] 1 K.B. 532). If such terms are incorporated by entity then they should provide reasonable notice. Such information can be provided in brochures or through verbal communication. For this aspect case of Thompson v LMS Railway [1930] 1 KB 41 can be referred. If clause is particularly onerous then additional steps are required to bring it to the notice of a reasonable person (Interfoto Picture Library v Stilletto [1989] QB 433).

Duty of care- Duty of care is imposed by law in negligence in situation of absence of contractual relationship between parties. As per the provisions of duty of care, an individual is obliged to take reasonable care of their action to prevent possibility of injury. If organization operating in travel and tourism sector failed to do so then, they will be legally obliged to provide damages for the injury resulted from their negligence (Bernick, and Boo, 2013). Provisions of duty of care is applied for both personal and property injury. To determine existence of duty of care, neighbor test is applied (Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562). This test is based on two requirements i.e. reasonable foresight of harm and relationship of proximity.

All these Acts are interrelated as they impose obligation of employer to provide safe and secure environment to workers. Moreover, they should avoid acts and omissions which can cause injury to the innocent party. If they fail to fulfill these duties then they will be considered as faulty party and they will be obliged to pay penalty charges.

Law of equality is introduced by the parliament of UK to prevent discrimination in workplace on the basis of unfair factors. Objective of these legislations is to provide protection to employees and customers at workplace. To provide better work environment employers are obliged to implement provisions of equality and anti-discrimination act. Description of these provisions is as follow-

Sex discrimination Act 1975-This Act was introduced by the parliament of UK to protect men and women from biasness on the basis of sex or marital status. Provisions of this Act are applicable in employment, education, training, harassment, and the disposal of premises. This whole Act was repealed by the Equality Act 2010.

Race discrimination Act 1976-This Act was established to prevent biasness in workplace on the basis of nationality, race, and color, ethnic and national origin. In addition to this, the Act has established commission for racial equality for the review of legislation. This Act incorporates provisions of previous Acts such as Race Relation Act 1965 and 1968 for the promotion of rave equality and effective prevention of race discrimination (Buhalis, 2000).

Employment protection (consolidation) Act 1978-This Act is a part of labor law. It provides description of rights and obligations under employment (Pan, 2008). This Act is consolidation of Redundancy Payments Act 1965 and Contracts of Employment Act 1963.

Disability discrimination Act 1995- Objective of this Act is to end the discrimination which arises due to disabilities of individual. Provisions of this Act is applicable on following sectors-

  • Employment
  • Education
  • access to goods and services, (in this services of private clubs and transport is included)
  • In purchase or lending of land or property
  • Functions of public bodies such as issue of license

As per the provisions of this Act, employer should not discriminate with qualified disabled people. Moreover, they should make reasonable adjustments while providing access to goods, facilities, services and premises. Rights are of the disabled people that are governed by Disability Rights Commission Act 1999 (Vicary v British Telecommunications plc [1999] IRLR 680, per Morison J).

Employment Act 2002-This Act is related to the rights of employees such as paternity and adoption (Ritchie, Tung and Ritchie, 2011). This Act has been amended by Employment Act 2008. Through the provisions of this Act, government had introduced mandatory statutory dismissal procedure, which is required to be followed by all the commercial entities. If employers fails to follow this procedure then dismissal will be considered as unfair. Section 8-14 of this Act describes provisions for minimum wage.

Human rights Act 1998-This Act describes Convention rights and interpretation of convention rights of human. Objective of this Act is to provide Protection to the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. It provides remedy for breach of a Convention right. As per the provisions of this Act, it is unlawful for an entity to conduct an act which will contravene the Convention rights. Section 7 of this Act provides right to the aggrieved party to claim for damages (A and Others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department 2004).

Health and safety manager of the entity is obliged to take care that all the Acts and legislations are followed by entity. Moreover they should make proper arrangements to prevent biasness in workplace by promoting equality (Williamson, 2003). If such misconduct is identified in the entity then they should take strict action to set ideal example for others. In addition to this, they should provide assurance of prevention of biasness on the basis of age, sex, religion and belief to provide satisfactory environment to workers and customers.

Key CSR elements of Thomas cook are enumerated below

  • To establish positive relationship with the local authority by following regulations and legal policies
  • They are focused on formation of more recyclable products and reducing packaging
  • By making optimum utilization of scarce natural resources
  • Supporting local charities and sponsor for local events
  • They are working with their stakeholders to minimize their adverse environmental impact.
  • They are introducing eco-friendly products and services to create better environment.

Conclusion

From the present study it can be concluded that several Acts are commenced by government under legislation and ethics for better management and control in travel and tourism sector. Objective of these legislations is to provide protection to public and to promote fair transactions. Organization operating in this sector is obliged to act in accordance with these norms else they will be obliged to pay penalty charges. All these Acts are interrelated as they imposes obligation of employer to provide safe and secure environment to workers and customers. Health and safety manager of the entity is obliged to take care that all the Acts and legislations are followed by entity. Moreover they should make proper arrangements to prevent biasness in workplace by promoting equality. As per the provisions of the statutory Acts of customer protection, goods and services provided at the time of delivery should be according to the description made at the time of formation of contract. It should be free from defects and it should as per sample provided. Ethical dilemmas of corporate entities can be resolved by applying innovative approaches such as environment and sustainability management.

References

  • Constanti, P., and Zopiatis, A., 2007. And never the twain shall meet: Investigating the hospitality industry-education relationship in Cyprus. Education + Training.49(5).pp.391 – 407.
  • Morrison, A. and Mahony, G. A., 2003. The liberation of hospitality management education.International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.15(1).pp.38 – 44.
  • Pan, B., 2008.Handbook of Consumer Behavior, Tourism, and the Internet.International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.20(6).pp.711–712
  • Ritchie, R. J., Tung, V. W. and Ritchie, R. J., 2011. Tourism experience management research: Emergence, evolution and future directions. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.23(4).pp.419 – 438.
  • Williamson, J., 2003. A Dictionary of Travel and Tourism.Reference Reviews.17(3). pp.20 – 21.
  • Ball, S.,Horner, S. and Nield, K., 2009. Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism Management Issues in China and India.Routledge.
  • Bernick, N. L. and Boo, S. 2013. Festival tourism and the entertainment age: interdisciplinary thought on an international travel phenomenon. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 7(2), pp.169 – 174.

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