Delivery in day(s): 5
Diploma in Travel and tourism
Unit Number and Title
Unit 8 Legislation and Ethics in Travel and Tourism
Legal and regulatory framework of travel and tourism covers so many aspects depending on the different parties involved in it. It falls under the preview of Tourism Act 1969; Travel Act 1985and Package Tour Regulations 1992.There is surface law, sea law and air law in relation to the carriage of passengers within the legal and regulatory framework. There are also impacts of the principles of health, safety and security legislation on the travel and tourism sector. It falls under the legislation that relates to equality and the contract legislation in relation to travel and tourism customers. Customers are also protected under summer protection legislation in relation to safeguarding the interest of the customers. Travel and tourism businesses cannot only go for profit decision making. These legislation and ethics in travel and tourism organisations have Corporate Social Responsibilities with the objective to contribute towards betterment of the society. The present study therefore would help us in understanding the various aspects of the travel and tourism industry and the organizations operating within that industry. It will also be beneficial in understanding the rules, regulations and legislations governing the travel and tourism industry in a better way (Mok, Sparks and Kadampully, 2013).
The tourism industry and the legislation are connected to each other in a number of ways. There are so many parties involved in tourism industry like suppliers, customers, contractors etc. When these parties interact between one another, the role of legislations becomes significant. If we take the example of a restaurant that serves food to the customers, that falls under the legal and regulatory framework of legislations regarding the factors involved in it like hospitality, food quality, and behaviour of the customers. As travel and tourism industry is a growing industry, it covers following under tourism legislations:
The objectives of these legislations were mainly to promote standard procedures to regularize the tourism industry defining rights and obligation of the parties involved in it. Tourism laws are also affected by “Health and Safety Commission”,” International Air Transport Association”,” Strategic Rail Authority”,” Civil Aviation Authority”
Air, surface and sea transport lying within legal & regulatory framework are governed by surface law, sea law and air law. These laws are discussed below.
Surface Law: This law is governed by “The International Carriage of Passenger by Road Act, 1979”.It protects the rights of the passengers on board. All the claims related to physical damages or mental disorders of the passengers are taken care by this law. Loss of luggage of the passengers is also governed by the “Carriage by Railway Act, 1972” (Medlik, 2007).All this laws regulates transport of goods and passenger. Interests of disabled passengers are also safeguarded by this law.
Sea Law: Shipping safety and security is covered under this contract law. Environmental factors are also regulated by this law. Seacraft with at least 12 nos of passengers related to the fire safety and life guarding equipments are covered under “The International Convention for the Safety of life at Sea (SOLAS)”.Liability of the ship or ferry towards damages suffered by its and its extent or limit is governed by “The Athens Convention, 1974”.
Air Law: the rules of international carriage and its documentation are defined by “The Warsaw Convention of 1929 ” .The passenger’s death compensation and right to claim against personal injury are also covered under this . “The Five Freedoms Agreement of 1944”covers all the rules and regulations related to landing across territory for traffic, non-traffic, passenger landing, and cargo and specify its territory.
Health, safety and security legislation focus mainly on the possible hazards in the travel and tourism sector and ensure that risk of accident minimised. The primary objective is to maintain safety in all respect in the working environment. It is primary responsibility of the employer as well as of the employee to identify in advance if there is any possibility of hazard in the work place and report the entire hazard as soon as possible.
“The Health and Safety at Work (HSWA 1974)” specified regulations directed the employers in performing their duties .To ensure proper functioning it has given three options to follow:
Guideline: The Health and Safety Guidance try to find out whether people have knowledge about the prevalent legislations. They also help facilitate people to properly comply with the legislations. It also helps in providing technical assistance for the provisions.
Approved Code of Practices (ACOP): It relate to formulation of Approved Code of Practices (ACOP) regarding hazardous work practices along with hazardous materials. The breach of these codes will make the employer liable. As per ACOP the duties of the employees involve:
Regulations: It becomes the responsibility of the employer for taking care of proper lighting, first aid & other statutory requirements in a work environment that is accident prone. The organizations with employee strength of five should issue written health and safety code as well as follow the following:
The Equality Act, 2010 put emphasis on treating of citizens and employees equally without making any discrimination. It also attempts to simplify the law deleting inconsistencies. It is essentially cumulative of the “Equal Pay Act, 1970; Sex Discrimination Act, 1975; Race Relations Act, 1976; Disability Discrimination Act, 1995; Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations, 2003; Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, 2003; Employment Equality (Age) Regulations, 2006; Equality Act, 2006; Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, 2007”.Travel and tourism legislations ensure that tour operators treat every customers equally by making their goods and services available to the customers without making any discrimination (Annesley and Gains, 2013).
The Sex Discrimination Act, 1975 on the other hand safeguards people’s interests against any gender or marriage discrimination related to training & employment and education etc. While discriminations made on the basis of race, colour and origin etc are prevented by The Race Discrimination Act, 1976.
Various types of discrimination covered by above mentioned legislations include the following:
Direct Discrimination: It takes place when a person treats others unequally as per set law standards.
Indirect Discrimination: It is said to exist when certain people groups are deprived of a particular service or facility.
Perceptive Discrimination: It is based on standard perceptions for discriminations faced by persons.
Harassment & Disability: Harassment is said to occur when people are subject to unwanted denial from the part of client, supplier, contractor etc. Disability discriminations are explicitly made on the basis of any disability or dysfunctional body of an individual depriving such person of a legitimate goods or services from the part of the tour operators. There are employment tribunals are put in place to take care of discrimination and harassments related to legitimate employment related claims like compensation, retention etc. arising due to any disability. Anyone suffering from any discrimination during touring period can claim remedial measures as deemed suitable.
There is a binding contract for each tourism company for customers regarding service and charges offered by the company. It ascertain all the conditions related to the detailed specifications of tours such as time of arrival, time of departure, details of destination ,charges for stay, etc. If the company fails as per the commitment the consumers may withdraw the acceptance and terminate the contract. Every contract has some standard element. They are as follows:
Offer: There are two parties in the offer. One is offeror and the other is offeree. Offeror makes the offer to the offeree and the offeree accepts the offer. This is a statement of service that is ready to be accepted.
Acceptance: Hereby the acceptance is confirmed by the offeree. This is when holiday tour package is purchased by the offeree and become the customer after discussing in detail with the travel agent.
Consideration: A contract become valid and complete only after a certain amount of consideration. It is just an agreement in the absence of consideration and cannot be challenged as per law. For example, in a holiday package, charges demanded by the travel agent can be taken as consideration.
Capacity: It is the capability to be a party to a legal contract. One should possess valid age, sound mind, free intention to be capable as per legislation. For example, consumer should declare that he/she is 18years and above before entering into a valid contract enforceable by law.
Certainty: Both the parties to the contract should be clear about the terms and conditions of the contract otherwise it shall deem to be invalid such as any miscommunication in respect of accommodation for staying in a hotel will make the contract invalid. Therefore a holiday contract should consist of the following:
So it is obvious that when a contract is signed between parties regarding accommodation, the conditions should maintain standards of cleanliness under health and safety laws (Cimmino, 2016).
Consumer’s rights and interests are protected by the consumer protection legislations that these are not violated by the travel and tourism agents and business owners.
“The Trade Description Act of 1968 prohibits the false or misleading indicator of prices of goods, services, accommodation and other related services. [Brotherton, (2008)]” Officers of Trading Standards need to inspect for the following:
As per the consumers right and providers duty as laid down under “The Consumer Protection Act of 1987” the legal responsibility of the manufacturer is to provide required information regarding product as stipulated by the countries health and safety laws. It also restricts the unfair business practices along with the following:
“Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPR)” is another legislation that protects consumer rights by the following controls:
Providing services while renting room
“The Package Travel Regulations of 1992 assure the miscommunication shall be corrected at the end of the service provider on making the necessary arrangements. It explicitly provides the minimum requirement for a contract to be a holiday contract. In order to be valid it must include two or more facilities such as accommodation, transport or other tourist services”.
Similarly air travel organizers must have Aviation Travel Organizer’s License which protects consumers financially by insurance, bonding etc.
The complex nature of the industry of the travel & tourism is mainly due to the fact that there are a lot of factors that are still growing and needs to be regulated. Factors such as hospitality, management etc are found to be dependent on a number of other factors but still are independent of one another. Hospitality essentially concerns about creating valued relationship and meeting the varied needs and requirements of the existing and potential travel and tourism customers. It also involves providing the goods and services at best possible price. There also have been instances of dilemmas of cross cultural nature. Political unrest and instable government such as Russia, Syria etc also tend to affect the travel and tourism sector with respect to a particular tourist location. The negative and unfavourable conditions of such places certainly hinder growth and development of travel and tourism to a great extent.
Social and cultural elements also tend to affect travel and tourism on the basis of societies, communities etc of the tourist destinations. The tourism customers are primarily categorized on the basis of their age as well as the economy. Accordingly countries that are economically weak like Vietnam, Bangladesh etc tend to facilitate travel and tourism through providing convenient visa without much documentation. Conversely, stronger economies such as USA, UK etc that are guided by stringent travel and tourism rules and regulations involve hefty documentation along with lengthy paper work for visa permit.
Recent studies show that dilemmas affecting travel and tourism sector mainly revolve round bribery and corruption, gender discrimination, sexual harassments, causing harm to natural resources, sale of unhealthy food etc. Corruption essentially involves bribery, extortion etc.
Most of the countries have legislations to help facilitate the right of women in work place ensuring equal opportunity in employment. However, the recent enactment of “Equal Treatment of Men and Women Act” has resulted in certain cases of violation of equal opportunity in employment.
It has also been found that there has been a considerable increase in the numbers of child labours used for the purpose of employment in most developing countries. Such employment is mainly in the form of helpers, cleaners, workers etc. Increase in unemployment rate, poverty and lack of social security have been the reasons behind the growing number of child labour across the globe.
Moreover, child trafficking, pornography etc that are illegal in the eye of law in developing countries are on a rise.
Business organizations adopt some social strategies as a service towards the community. This is what we generally call Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. “It refers to activities such as Environmental protection, equal opportunity, and practicing sustainable development (Crane et. al., 2010)”.Tourism organizations may contact with the local authorities to know their requirements and thus business organization can define their responsibility towards the society. Tourism businesses can set their objectives to conserve heritage, environmental sources and other social valuables towards delivering their Corporate Social Responsibility. Their primary objective should be to preserve natural sources and therefore encourage travel and tourism. Along with their business objectives they should also be engaged in philanthropy for charity purpose. So, the Corporate Social Responsibility may include giving protection to endangered wildlife, promoting cost effective rates to the travel and tourism consumers taking care of “social and cultural values”. For fulfilling this responsibility any business would require engagement of employee and funds for charitable purposes. In the present phase of globalization organization has to deliver Corporate Social Responsibilities to sustain in the society and contribute for its betterment. In the context of the present task we can give an example of a large Corporation like Thomas Cook. “Thomas Cook has been the first one to create the concept of a package holiday in order to promote social responsibility and they claim to be as inspiring today as well. Thomas cook has developed a separate code of conduct to promote the said activities in order to contribute towards the community. The company observed an increase of 80% of Local Label sustainable excursions in the year of 2014. The company also launched a One Millions Heats Programme to promote the relationship between the employees and the customers. It has become a leaner and innovative business by reducing wastage making it more efficient by 35%.The company had set a certain targets in 2010, under a 10-year plan to which following steps have been taken are employee engagement, using consumer campaigns like, Travel Foundation’s Make Holidays Greener promoting charity and raising funds [European Cities Marketing, 2015]”.
In the context of the present study, it can be summed up that important issues relating to health and safety along with security with respect to a country involves protection of services related to accommodation as well as other associated services should be made priority for tour operators, tourism and travel providers. The travel and tourism regulations and legislations are found to treat all equally without making any discrimination on the basis of gender, age, religion etc. The mechanism of decision making is found to be impacted by ethical dilemmas applicable for a particular situation. Ethics dealt in this study can be in the form of business, marketing as well as accounting in nature. Therefore, proper knowledge of the ethical dilemmas can also affect decision making in the travel and tourism industry to a considerable amount. Like any other industry, the travel and tourism industry also need to follow the path of sustainable development for effective growth and success. Corporate Social Responsibility can be an effective means through which travel and tourism organizations can achieve sustainable development for its overall wellbeing (Clift and Page, 2015).
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