Published on June 19th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer0
Government Provides Insolvency Protection for Credit Notes Issued by Irish Travel Industry
While this measure was previously announced by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross, the necessary legal provisions to ensure that special COVID-19 Refund Credit Notes issued by Irish licensed Travel Agents and Tour Operators will be protected by a State guarantee.
Speaking on 19th June Minister Ross has said “The entire travel and tourism industry across Europe has been devastated by the impact of Covid-19, including the many small and medium sized Irish businesses that make up the travel agent and tour operator sector. The Government is determined to save jobs and protect businesses as much as it can, as well as the rights of the hard-pressed consumer. As part of that commitment I am pleased to announce that Refund Credit Notes issued by Irish licensed travel agents and tour operators will be insolvency protected by the State. Overseas travel booked through travel agents and tour operators have high levels of consumer protections. This means that consumers can agree to accept such Credit Notes in the knowledge that their money is safe. People are entitled under the law to a cash refund in circumstances where a booking has been cancelled because of Covid-19, but where they can, I urge people to consider accepting a Refund Credit Note instead. The Refund Credit Note can be used to rebook at a later date, or it can be cashed in at a later date too, safe in the knowledge that it is Government protected.”
The guarantee protects the cash value of a Refund Credit Note in the event that a Travel Agent or Tour Operator becomes insolvent and goes out of business. Consumers are entitled to a full cash refund under the Package Travel Directive in circumstances where a package holiday has to be cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions. Where customers agree to accept a voucher as a refund instead of cash, then the Government will stand over the cash value of that Note in the event that the issuer goes out of business. Consumer protections are therefore safeguarded.