RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ORGANIZING TRAVEL AGENCY
FOR THE INADEQUATE PROVISION OF TOURIST SERVICES
Phd. Ilie DUMITRU1
The contractual relationship that is established between a travel agency and a tourist can take the form of either
a contract for the sale of travel packages or a contract of tourist services, depending on its purpose. The obligations of
the travel agency that sold a package of travel services or that are obliged to provide tourist se rvices, as well as the
sanctions applicable in case of failure to fulfill the obligations assumed, are established by a recent special law, which
transposes a Europ ean directive. If we consider the relatively new character of this regulation that derogates from the
common law, the particularities of the tourist services and the context of assuming their provision by the intermediary-
tourism agency, as well as the lack of a consistent Romanian case law in this field, make it necessary to analyze the issue
of civil sanctions applicable to the travel a gency that does not fulfill its obligations. Our analysis will have a trilateral
composition: legal, doctrinal and jurisprudential.
Keywords: package travel contract, tourist services, civil sanctions, breach of the contract.
JEL Classification: K12, K30
1. General framework for the sale and provision of tourist services
Tourism is a sector of activity which is more and more present in the national economies of
many states, with an important percentage contribution to the global gross domestic product2.
Even at the EU level, tourism has been recognized as having an important role due to its
economic and employment potential, as well as to its social and environmental implications.
Given the technological evolution determined by the rapid forms of communication and
information, especially the Internet, and by the development of electronic commerce, the tourism
industry has experienced a re-establishment of the relationship between the main actors, respectively
the tourism service providers, on the one hand, and their beneficiaries (tourists), on the other hand.
Even if an important part of the tourist activity is realized as a result of a direct relationship
(legal kind, but not only) established between the tourist and the tourist service provider (tourist-
hotel, tourist-carrier, etc.), in the modern era, with an increasingly high level of specialization in all
economic fields, specialized intermediaries in tourism have emerged, generically referred to as "travel
In addition, the tourist services also wore a "consumerist" clothes and became "tourist
From this moment forward, at international level, including within the European Union, the
travel agencies have been regarded as "traders" of such particular category of products: travel service
On the other hand, since the beginning of the post second world war period, with the rapid
development of the tourism phenomenon, some tourism agencies practice an "anticipatory" trade and
are not satisfied onl y to intermediate the contractual relationship between the tourist and the tourist
service provider, but they produce themselves a complex tourism product, named "travel package" in
European and national legislation, composed of two or more tourist services, and which is offered for
sale to tourists.
In this context, at the beginning of the 90s, this new role assumed by the tourism agencies
came to the attention of the national and European legislators, so that appeared very soon the first
forms of regulation of the legal relationship between the tourism agency and tourist, materialized in
1 Ilie Dumitru - associate teacher at the Law Department, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania,
2 According to WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) analysis and statistics, the contribution of tourism and travel to the global
gross domestic product was 10.4% in 2018.