Legislation and Ethics in Travel Tourism Sector

Pearson BTEC Level 4/5 HNC/D Diploma Travel and Tourism Sector - Unit 8 : Legislation and Ethics in Travel Tourism Sector


Unit Description

In this Legislation Ethics travel tourism sector assignment, various aspects of law required for travel and tourism industry has been discussed.
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Task A

With regards to the legal and regulatory framework within which the travel and tourism sector exist in the English legal system, explain the difference between civil and criminal law as a method of classifying laws. In your explanation, pay particular attention to the distinction between the legal processes and procedures which an unhappy customer (Mr. Davis) would take in bringing an action against a tour operator (Going Abroad Ltd) who has breached their civil obligation and a situation where the tour operator is being prosecuted by a relevant regulatory body for having committed a criminal offence of providing faulty information. (P1.1)

Criminal law is one of two broad categories of law that deals with the acts of bringing intentional harm to individuals like It is a crime to break into a home because the act not only violates the privacy and safety of the home’s occupants but goes on to imply that we are not even safe in our own homes.

Civil law is the other broad category of law that deals with disputes between private parties, or negligent acts that cause harm to others. For example, if individuals or companies disagree over the terms of an agreement they may file a lawsuit asking the courts to decide who is right.

The differences between Criminal and Civil laws are as follows:

Criminal Law Civil Law
Criminal law mainly deals with the laws pertaining to criminal acts and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. Civil law mainly deals with the disputes that arise between the individuals or organizations, or in-between them, where a compensation is to be given to the victim.
Its need is to maintain law and order in the state and society by giving punishment to the criminals and penalizing them for the offence they committed. Its need is to deal with the disputes between individuals or organizations, or in-between the two, where compensation is to be awarded to the victim.
The jury presents the decision The judge presents the decision
In This law, the case is filed by the Government In this law, the case is filed by the Private Party
The punishment involves Custodial punishment (imprisonment) or Non-custodial punishment (fines or community service). Death penalty can also be awarded in some cases of according to the extremeness of the crime. The punishment normally involves Compensation (usually financial) for the offense, or an injunction in nuisance.
Only the defendant may appeal for the court’s verdict. In this case the appeal by the prosecution is not allowed. Either the claimant or the defendant may appeal for the court’s decision.
The proceedings can be commenced by way of pleadings, involvement of the representatives of the State, Prosecutor and Attorney General. The proceedings can be commenced by either the State or People or Prosecution in the form of summons or indictment.
In these kind of cases in order to convict the defendant, the jury has to agree unanimously and give a uniform decision. In these kind of cases, in order to arrive on a decision, the opinion of the jury may not be unanimous as the judge announces the decision.
Examples: – Theft, extortion , robbery, human trafficking, murder, etc. Examples: – Land disputes, Divorce, Child Custody, Property disputes, personal injury, etc.
In this situation, Mr. Davis will file a case against the tour operator, Going Abroad Ltd. under the civil law. The proceedings will be conducted in the civil court under the supervision of the Judge. However, the regulatory body would be filing the case against Going Abroad Ltd. under the Criminal law in the presence of a Jury.

Explore Unit 3 Managerial and Professional Development Assignment
Task B

State and explain the respective bodies responsible for regulating the surface, sea and air travel sectors, with particular emphasis on their role in enforcing the legislation and regulations in place. (P1.2)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is a statutory organization that regulates and monitors all the aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom. The Civil Aviation Authority has both direct as well as indirect control on the aviation sector of UK. It also regulates and supervises the activities of the Air Travel Organizers’ Licensing (ATOL). It also performs several activities which include the calibration of flights and its various units, flight testing, airport regulations, etc.

There are also a number of Surface travel agents like the Department of the Environment Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) which regulates the exercises of the goods vehicle licensing. It provides licenses as well as conducts hearings for the road issues. The rail travel is regulated by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) which regulates all the laws and issues related to railways. It is also purchases as well as is responsible for the economic regulation of the railways in UK.

All these regulatory bodies play a very critical role in enforcing the legislation related to the land as well as keeping the regulations intact.

Task C

You have recently been employed as the Health and Safety Officer of the Rainbow Hotel with the responsibility of ensuring that all rules relating to health, safety and security of the hotel staff, guests and everyone else visiting the hotel are observed. Write a brief report to the Director (Mrs. Kaur), updating her of the Hotel’s legal responsibilities to its employees and hotel invited and even uninvited visitors and the consequences of not observing these legislation and regulations. (P2.1)

There are several aspects of law contract that need to be duly monitored by the hotel authorities for the safety at workplace of the employees as well as their guests.

Workplace safety
The objective of the hotels should be to provide and maintain a safe workplace

Maintain safe and hygienic machinery and equipment’s
Safe and authorized access to secured areas as well as common accessible places such as roof etc.
Safe operating zone for the employees
Fire Safety for the employees as well as guests in order that any untoward event may occur.
First Aid and ambulance services in case of any mis-happening or any catastrophic event.
Safe living and pleasant atmosphere for guests
Mitigate Risks
To prepare a safety statement and to update it on a regular basis in order to keep track of the account of the various changing situations and the various practices at the workplace.
To Ensure that the various associated risks are assessed and controls to counter and prevent them are in place.
To Ensure that the work is structured by taking into account the individual assigned to do that work.
Safety for Guests
The guests’ safety should of primary concern for the Hotel staff.
The guests’ should feel safe in the hotel premise as well as their needs should be addressed in the shortest time possible.
The primary motive of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations is to ensure that the employers carry out risk assessments regularly and periodically to eliminate or reduce risks. Employers with five or more employees need to record the significant findings of a risk assessment and deal with the same on priority. In addition, employers also need to:

Make special arrangements for implementing the various health and safety legislations identified as necessary by risk assessments and the court of law.
Need to constantly monitor and review those arrangements
Recruit people with adequate knowledge, interpersonal skills, experience and train them in order to implement these arrangements.
Have emergency setups and the procedures in place at the premises and provide special trainings to employees to be able to use them in case of an emergency.
Provide clear and detailed information and timely supervision as well as training for the employees and ensure that the suitably competent people are appointed who are capable of carrying out the tasks entrusted upon them.
Have a policy in place, to work together with any other employer operating from the same workplace building and have no restriction on the sharing information on the risks that other staff may be exposed to, Eg. Cleaning, catering or maintenance contractors. This can be a win-win situation for both the parties.
Take special consideration of the various risks to new born as well as the expecting mothers as they are most susceptible to infection or hazards at these places.
All these regulations need to be in place in order to ensure that the best hospitality is provided to the guests and that the safety measures are ensured for the employees. If these regulations are not in place, there can be chances that the hotel management might foresee trouble in the future regarding the safety measures for the employees as well as the guests and if any of them are injured or affected by the same, the hotel might have to undergo law suites and proceedings as per the hospitality laws governing the premises.
Task D

Having learnt that you also studied other areas of laws relating to the travel and tourism industry, the Director wants you to write another report on equalities law, briefing her on the legislation relating to sex, race, disability, religious belief and other areas of discrimination law which the hotel needs to take into consideration when engaging employees. (P 2.2)

No discrimination on the basis of sex should be done at the workplace and people of all the genders should be treated equally and no bias should prevail on any grounds.
No discrimination on the basis of race / color. People from all the races should be treated equally and equal rights should be given to the employees as well as equal level of service should be given to the guest of all races and to those who come from other countries as well.
No discrimination on the basis of religion. The religious beliefs of the people from different parts of the country should be respected with utmost care and they should also be applicable for both the employees as well as the guests.
No discrimination of people on the basis of their ability. Special care and facilities need to be considered for the disabled and differently abled people and utmost care needs to be taken for their safety and no discrimination should be done on any grounds.
These regulations when compared to the actual regulations pertaining to different agencies for example Travel and Tours are comparatively lenient as there are high chances of getting Criminal Cases rather than the Civil ones in that case. Far more serious allegations can be levied on these agencies.

Task E

Discuss the relevance and the distinction between the following legislation in the law of contracts in relation to the travel and tourism sector;

Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (P3.1)
Under this law the seller does not have the right to sell the goods (s.12);
Where the goods are sold by description there is an implied term that the goods will correspond to that description and adhere to the same (s.13);
The businesses must provide the assurance that the various kinds of goods that they sell are of satisfactory quality and are fit for their purpose (s.14);
Where the goods are sold by sample there is an implied term that the goods will correspond to the sample shown in quality as well. (s.15).
For example – if a television set is bought and if turns out faulty then then the Sale of Goods Act applies. Then the consumer can claim for the redress against the retailer or the seller and it is illegal for the retailer to tell the seller to contact the manufacturer as they retailer was the person who sold the television to the buyer and is legally responsible for the replacement or exchange for the same.

The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulation 1999 (P3.1)
Under this law the service must be carried out with reasonable care, skill and precision. (s.13);
The service shall be carried out within a reasonable amount of time (s.14);
The instances where no price is agreed upon, a reasonable price will be paid after the completion of services (s.15).
Without these Acts in place it would be very easy for businesses to cheat each other and the crime rates would reach sky high (Martin, 1990).

For both types of contract the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (and subsequent amendments) applies.

It is different from the legislation of the travel and tourism industry as they are considered more in the Civil Laws and the legislation is controlled by the Civil count under the jurisdiction of the Judge of the courts.

Task F

Explain the EU and UK legal responsibilities of holiday Tour Operators in relation to the description of holiday services and facilities in their brochures and their legal responsibility for services rendered by them or their suppliers to guests while on holidays. (P 3.2)

There are quite a number of legal responsibilities in the holiday tour operations which they should abide by. They are mentioned below:

i) Clients who bought a particular package from the operator that includes a flight and city tour
The operator should arrange the travel and pay for accommodation until the traveler reaches home with the luggage or whatever belongings he/she might have (Hall, 2005). Almost all the players of the tours operator are to abide by the same responsibilities and the regulations with differences only in some terms and conditions which also need to be clearly listed.
The tour operator has the sole responsibility to provide the accommodation as well as the tour related commitments and the traveler has the right to take the operator to court if the commitments are not met in kind as well as quality as promised.
ii) Clients who bought a ‘land-only’ tour from the operator should have arranged for their own flights and other means of transport other than land.
The tour operator should arrange for the accommodation for them and offer this at the rates agreed upon by the customer and the operator. Receipts are given which customers can use in the case there is an unfavorable event . The travel insurance will cover the same in that case. The operators arrange for all kinds of trips and extra land tours and organize several activities at highly discounted prices and are legally responsible for providing the same to the customers.
The travel agencies also help the clients in communicating with their airlines to change to different flights with Europe and UK, help in booking new flights, or help in cancellation as well as rebooking the same.
In case of delays generally the airlines are obliged to pay for the accommodation of the travelers, and take care of their belongings as well as offer recreational activities during this delay period including some re-imbursement in cases where delay causes great loses to travelers. This condition is based on agreement of the two parties.
There are also several conditions where there are delays from the airlines as well as other operators and the travel agents generally have negotiated with the ground handlers and hotels in providing some special cancellation fees as well as other facilities like accommodation to the travelers. Generally they help the client as well as the agencies with the charge lower than the actual fees only if the client does a rebooking for the travel within the next upcoming months.

However if there are cancellation or modifications and the customer has not started the travel yet the following are the regulations that come into play:

i) Clients who have booked a package with us including a flight and tour
The travel operators are obliged to give a full refund or change the flights in case of delays or cancellations and sometimes also shift the tour to a new date at no additional cost in case the client agrees to travel on a new date.
However sometimes they do not provide a full refund to the customers but plan to reschedule their tour plans to some modified dates. If the customers insist and refuse to accommodate the new dates in their plan then the agency are liable to return back the entire amount to the customer.
They are liable to take care of all their flight requirements as well as arrange for accommodation as well as the local tours in the country or place of travel the customer is visiting.
ii) Clients who have booked a ‘land only’ tour from us but arranged their own flights
The operators are liable to re-book the clients trips to a new date for no additional charge unless their new travel date lies in the next few months (Boo, 1993). They generally absorb the cancellation fees that they have negotiated on the ground.
If they rebook for a future date then the customers are liable to pay additional charges according to the flight prices at that point of time.
However, if the customer wants to cancel the trip completely then there would be minimal charges which would be applicable that are termed as cancellation charges.
Task G

Identify and analyze one specific ethical issue from two different travel and tourism sector businesses and evaluate how the organizations address those issues. (P 4.1)

There are several instances where the travel operators along with the local people in order to make the trip more adventurous for the tourists might harm the animals as well the plantations of the region. These issues fall under the ethical purview and cannot be termed as criminal. However there are few operators who take utmost care while doing the business in an ethical manner especially where the operators provide safari and natural trips to forests to the tourists.

Gane and Marshall is one such travel operator who works mainly towards organizing African trips and has a good bonding with the local people in order to show the nature as well as the beauty of it in the most natural form with the help of the local guides. The local people in Africa do not encourage tampering with the nature in any form.

Thomas cook on the other hand hires several people who know the local language and they act as tour operators cum local guides providing valuable inputs to the travelers as well as the local people and provide the safari in the most ethical manner. They also organize a briefing session before the tour in order to educate the travelers with the ethical ways of exploring the nature.

Using a travel and tourism organization of your choice, analyze and discuss the challenges of implementing a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy (you need choose an organization with already existing CSR policy and strategy). P(4.2)

TUI Travel Plc. is an organization which formed in September 2007 by a merger of First Choice Holidays Plc. and the Tourism Division of TUI AG.

TUI Travel mainly focuses on 4 special areas as part of its corporate social responsibility, namely carbon management, destinations, colleagues and customers.

Carbon management – TUI Travel has taken strict steps in ensuring a low carbon society. The Travel and tourism account for over 8% of global CO2 emissions and the climate changes are a prominent risk in the tourism industry. It voluntarily reports carbon emission and emphasizes the same on the stakeholders as well.
Destinations – TUI Travel known for the great supplier of services it offers, has several strict standards defined for their selection. It also takes up several support projects like planting trees, education, charitable events, etc.
Colleagues – As part of its corporate social responsibility it provides several trainings to the employees and a number of local people to support to their families and contribute to their well-being.
Customers – They provide more sustainable holidays in the most affluent manner to the customers. They also encourage the customers by organizing holidays while taking care of the environment with the support to the destination communities.
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