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The travel and tourism industry and the hospitality industry are inseparable from one another. The integrated aspects may be that of air travel and temporary accommodation. The accommodation would include the provision of cleanliness, food to eat and telephonic services. It is essential that the integration is carefully professed in order to safeguard the interests of the employees as well as the customers. For a better experience, the legislations have been issued by the regulatory bodies in order to deal with the compliance issues and provide a better and functional environment for the tourists. The Unit 8 Legislations and Ethics in TT Sector Assignment studies the various aspects of environment, equality and corporate social responsibility of the travel organisations.
A group of legal rules and regulations that helps in decision making within certain set of legislated boundaries is known as system. Tourism industry is a multidimensional industry which facilitates variety of facilities at one place like accommodation facilities, employment facilities, hospitality facilities, transport facilities and contracts which needs specific attention. For the legal and regulatory frameworks of the tourism industry it is necessary that the scope of legislation that concerns the industry should be laid down. There are certain legislations that are discussed below in relation with travel and tourism industry:
There are certain regulatory bodies that regulate the travel and tourism industry which are:
In the midst of the developments America was of the notion that being a party to the convention it will not be served any benefit and hence it will be considered to opt out of the convention on 15th May. Right before the date of withdrawal however, the membership of was retained by signing the Montreal convention. This activity was done so as to limit the liability of the costs that is to be paid between $58,000 to $75,000 which was dependent upon the damage and the legal costs involved in the damage. The restructure clause was signed as according to International Civil Aviation Organisation it was found that the limited liability was sufficient. The clause was signed at the Guatemala Convention, 1971. The clause for exclusion was also included for the exclusion of the force of the majeure clause and also included the establishment of jurisdiction of the residence of the passengers as the 5th class of jurisdiction (Syratt and Archer, 2003).
The health and safety standards at the premises should be maintained by the employer according to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974. The workplace shall be safe and free of hazards to ensure the safety of the workers. The employers are required to include the training mechanisms, protecting the plants and maintaining safe passages during the working house to ensure the safety of the workers. A proper entry and exit passage shall be maintained. It is the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive to implement the legislation and assist the local authorities in doing so as well. The Executive has defined the risks with respect to dermatitis, manual handling of machinery or tripping while performing duties. (Brotherton, 2008). The Commission on Health and Safety undertakes the regular reviews of the legislation in order to ensure the measures to be undertaken at the premises for maintaining the safety. The safety provisions are updated by providing research, order guidance or code for practice. The research lays down the possible areas wherein the travellers may be affected in terms of safety. The physical danger may be caused through equipment, chemical or biological threat. Some organisms, distress or distraction may cause the harm while travelling. Accordingly, the European Framework Directive on Safety and Health at Work (Directive 89/391 EEC), 1989 illustrates the standards for the maintenance of the safety for the protection of tourists. The directive ensures the promotion of the safety standards with respects to technology, installing new equipment and undertaking preventive measures to protect the employee on the premises. (Smith, 2010)
Under the Occupier’s Liability Act, 1957 the occupier is obligated to provide a safe environment on the premises for the people present during the working hours or when closed. The protection shall be provided towards the people both visitors or non –visitors of the premise. Such duty of care is assumed by the occupier towards employees, trespassers and visitors. The protection shall be undertaken according to the health and safety standards. If the occupier is unsuccessful in providing the safety then the occupier will be held liable for the damages so arising under the situation. The occupier is also responsible for the space provision, heating and lighting facilities and communication for the health and safety codes. It is necessary for the hospitality industry to ensure that the premises so provided for accommodation are free of hazards and contain the safety measures for the protection of the customers and the employees. Under the Data Protection Act, 1998 it is mandatory for the tourist operators to ensure that the information derived from the process of booking and providing services shall not be misused outside of the transaction. The information should be relevant and adequate in order to accurately update the records for the purpose of the person discharging the information. The same shall not be transferred outside of the Europeans Economic Area. The service providers should maintain the condition of the hotel, guest houses, washrooms, food, drinks and experienced staff in order to comply with the safety standards to ensure the wellbeing of the tourists. Warning signs shall be put up at areas easily accessible to anyone in order to convey the possible dangers that may be present on the premises.(Veal, 2006)
Equality interprets to be a treatment of same nature towards people facing same situations. Equality is referred to the fair and equal treatment on the basis of age, gender, religion, disability and other bases. For the employment purposes the Equality Act of 2010 is present in order to provide solutions to the bias so taking place during the course of employment. The act aims at unifying the various legislations introduced over the year to protect the different biases taking place. Under the Race Discrimination Act, 1976 the bias on the basis of the race is prohibited based on colour, education or nationality. (Saggerson, 2008) The gender bias is governed by the Sex Discrimination Act, 1976 for employment or training purposes. The Employment act, 2002 aims at dealing with issues such as paternity leaves, equal treatment of employees or dispute resolution. The people suffering from disability are not to be discriminated based on the Discrimination Act. Discrimination is regarded as an unfair treatment for a particular characteristic or factor that is a standard for bias. Such a treatment is to be restricted and for the same purpose the Equality Act of 2010 was introduced to deal with situations and create awareness regarding the unfair treatment. The legislation ensures a fair treatment and hiring on the basis of merit. The different types of discrimination that may take place are as follows:
For a valid holiday contract it is required that the standard elements in regards with the hospitality industry are present. If the holiday contract is to be entered into the parties to the contract shall know the role to be played by the parties. The person making the offer would be the customer and the person who is providing with the services and products is known to be offeree. The offer should be clear in meaning and effect. A standard offer should include the quantity, quality, costs and the elements of the products or services so provided under the contract. The contract would therefore be initiated by the customer in a regular contract. This is because the tour operators may present the public with the opportunity to make an offer by creating a invitation to offer. The invitation to offer may be presented through pamphlets and brochures. The prospective buyers may then approach the operators to make the offer. If the offer so presented by the customer is accepted by the agent then it would amount to a contract if the same is negotiated then it would be termed as a counter offer. A counter offer would be made until a final acceptance or rejection is made to conclude the offer. The acceptance shall be notified at the earliest and through an acceptable means of communication. (Downesand Paton, 2010)
The contract so entered into by the parties shall involve an exchange of price or cost of services. The price or cost so exchanged should be something of value to either party. The consideration for the services would make the contract enforceable under the law. The consideration, herein under, may be for the cost of the package opted for, the flight tickets, the cost of meal or refreshments and such other charges. The same is provided in exchange of food, travel accommodation and such other experiences. Furthermore, the intention to enter into a contract shall be notified in order to determine the nature of the contract. (Grant and Mason, 2012)
Unlike regular transactions, most of the tourism based transactions are handled on professional basis thereby, giving rise to the commercial nature of the contracts. The parties entering into the contract shall ensure the capacity. The travellers shall be of legal age and sound mind having the financial capacity. The travel agent shall be certified by the ATOL License in order to provide such services in the travel and tourism industry. The contract so entered into by the parties should be common in nature containing the common terms agreed to by the parties at the time of signing the same. The types of contracts that may be included under the travel and tourism industry is that of providing services, packaged holidays and supplying goods. It should be ensured that the contracts contain the correct description of the goods and services, accurate information and the consumer legislations to be applicable in case of breach of the contract.
According to the Trade Description Act, 1968, it is ensured that the advertised services are performed when the execution takes place. The services so advertised should be of true nature and be accurate according to the description. The traders should ensure that the description shall not amount to trader’s puff and be achievable under regular circumstances. It would be fair to void the contract if the same is not met with the description. Under Consumer Protection Act of 1987, the consumers are protected against the malpractices so present in the market to exploit the position of the customers. The exploitation that takes place is in terms of charging the steep prices, providing sub-standards goods and not matching the criteria of the contract. the consumer protection legislation ensures the performance of the service providers as promised under the contract. The legislation provides the redress mechanism as well in case of breach of a contract. If the tourism provider charges for more units than mentioned then it would be regarded as a malpractice. (Saggerson, 2008)
According to the Package and Travel Regulations, 1992 a holiday package is considered to be so wherein it contains two or more than two tourism services at a combined price. Such packages are considered customer friendly and are easier to be purchased in accordance with the likely requirements. It is a time saving concept and requires the customers to pay a onetime price for the entire package. The legislation makes it mandatory for the service providers to ensure that the relative information is to be disclosed at the time of provision of the contract. Under the Unfair Trade Practices Act, 2008 it is ensured that the customers are protected against the unfair services so provided by the service providers in addition to the consumer legislation and trade description act. It ensures that the contracting parties benefit from the contract entered into by ensuring the effect of the contract in case of unfair trade practices. (Veal, 2006)
Term Ethics means that the travel and tourism sector should include several practices that support the people and the environment in a given society. To maintain such ethics travel and tourism sector can do sourcing of the products and service them locally. Whereby, it is necessary that the maximum benefit should be provided to the economy by the tourism industry. It was analysed that the tourists often experience the racial biasness and gender inequality while they are being provided the offers and new holiday packages. Another ethical issue is sustainable development that is faced by the tourism sector. According to law it is necessary that the travel and tourism sector should focus upon environment sustainability and should use the green and eco-friendly services.Tourism industry is affected when the service providers related with the tourism industry indulge in the unethical practices and practice them regularly. Maintaining the Ecology of the place helps in attracting the people and it is necessary that it should be maintained so that more and more people could get attracted towards the place (Grant and Mason, 2012).
Ethics are considered as the hurdles for travel and tourism sector as due to these ethics profitability of the tourism industry gets affected. In 2009 UNWTO code of ethics were formed at global level. The applicable ethics on the tourism activities were recognised in year 2001. Ethical aspects may include discrimination of the employees, unfair advantage of the market contribution, trading of explicit information and applying the cost cutting methods (Brotherton, 2008). In legal sense ethics are referred to as the application of the ethical values to the profession front in that which goes beyond the legal requirements. Such ethics should be maintained as they could affect the profits of the business. Tourism industry involves several ethics and moral dilemma which are meant for the welfare of the people attached with the business. It is necessary that the health and safety measures should be looked upon by the workplace so that people could enjoy their tourism safely and securely (Holloway, 2009). Travel and tourism industry could maintain the balance by employing the skilled labour and by providing them appropriate training regarding all the ethical aspects so that the decorum of the travel and tourism industry could be maintained.
Corporate social responsibility is the responsibility of every business present in the market. It is necessary that the business indulge in the travel and tourism industry should focus upon the corporate social responsibility and should contribute in the welfare of the community and the people attached with the business. Corporate social responsibility is the ethical responsibility of the company at its own end which is being adopted by the company so as to protect the interest of the society and to pay back the contribution so charged by the company through the use of such resources. Strategy adopted by Europe focuses on the inclusion of the CSR initiatives which aim at smart and sustainable growth of the society. Adopting the CSR activities is not a mere legal requirement companies adopt them at their own will. CSR activities help in the promotion of the company and show its involvement in the society. Therefore, companies could indulge in the CSR activities which could help them in contributing in the development of the society (Shangri-La, 2015). When such CSR activities are undertaken then the parties that get affected by such activities are the external shareholders that include individuals, customers, communities and society at large. Internal shareholders equally get affected by the CSR activities which includes owner of the company, employees and the top level management of the company. CSR activities that are concerned by the companies are concerning the ethical, social, environmental aspects with the sustainability report and the code of conduct (Crane and Matten, 2010).
In late 90’s the CSR activities that are to be taken under consideration by the travel and tourism sector came into existence. Focus of the activities was to improve the products and services offered to the customers so as to maintain the competitive advantage in the market. CSR activities that are to be undertaken are reduction of the pollution, conservation of landscape and heritage, inclusion of local communities and fine use of the goods (Downesand Paton, 2010). Understanding the case study of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts it was understood that the primarily hotel focused on the sustainable development of the environment by using the CSR policies which concerned various aspects like environment, employees, supply chain, health and safety and relationship with the stakeholders (Veal, 2006). As a part of the CSR policies a People Care Project was taken up by the hotel in 2009, focus of this project was on the child educational and health programmes. This was also included in the partnership of the hotel with the local beneficiaries at the hotel branch. CSR policies of hotel included providing better infrastructure support and the life skill trainings in which 73 were identified as beneficiaries by the end of year 2012.
Organgutan Project was another CSR programme that was initiated by the hotel group. In this program they promoted the wildlife with Sabah State Wildlife Department in which they contributed in safeguarding the species like deer, mouse deer, civet cat (Veal, 2006). Hotel group also indulge in the Reef Care Project in which provision for marine education centre was encouraged in which people will be able to learn about the conservation of marine life. The aim for the care project was to protect the wildlife and habitat through Sanctuary Projects. Senior management is responsible for the initiating the CSR activities in Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts, employees working in the hotel are involved in restoring the activities in the wild life. Suppliers group were responsible for the consistency of such activities and the investors of the organisation were indulging in creation of more awareness of the CSR activities so adopted by the Hotel. The stakeholders group was found successful in providing the overall stay experience by 53% and 47%. Gender employee balance shown in Hotel was 56% to 44% for the male and female. According to Fire Life Safety Audit, till the rate of 87% it is considered as majorly safe (Shangri-La, 2015).
The tourism industry has been integrated with the functions of the hospitality industry in several ways binding through air travel, land travel and the sea travel. The various aspects of travel and hospitality are studied under the assignment with the help of legislations. The approach of safety and equality legislations has been provided with a discussion on the legislations issued by the regulatory bodies. Every aspect of the travel is regulated by the contracts so entered into by the parties in order to register for the experiences. The travel packages are regulated by the respective legislations. The importance of legislative measures is studied while determining various aspects of the travel industry. The corporate social responsibility to be carried out by the organizations providing the travel services is determined in the present Unit 8 Legislations and Ethics in TT Sector Assignment in order to complete the assignment.
Downes J and Paton, T., (2010) Travel and tourism law in the UK.,5th ed. Huntingdon, Elm Pub.
Grant and Mason (2012) Holiday Law: The Law Relating to Travel and Tourism, 5th Ed., London, Sweet and Maxwell.
Saggerson A. (2008) Travel law and litigation, 4th rev. ed, St Albans : Tarquin Publications.
Crane, A. and Matten, D. (2010) Business ethics: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization, 3rd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Holloway (2009), The Business of Tourism, 5th ed. Harlow, Financial Times/Prentice Hall
Syratt G and Archer J., (2003), Manual of Travel Agency Practice, 3rd ed., Oxford, Butterworth-Heineman.
Timothy, D.J. (2011), Cultural Heritage and Tourism, An Introduction, Channel View Publication
Smith, S., (2010), Practical Tourism Research (CABI)
Brotherton, B., (2008), Researching Hospitality and Tourism: A Student Guide (Sage Publications)
Veal, A. J, (2006), Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism: A Practical Guide, 3rd ed (Prentice Hall)
Shangri-La, 2012 Sustainability Report, 2015 [online]
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