Unit 8 Legislation and Ethics in the Travel and Tourism Sector

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This unit enables learners to gain understanding of the legal and regulatory framework, health, safety, security and consumer protection laws and business ethics in travel and tourism.

 Unit abstract

This unit gives learners an insight into the legal and moral issues that permeate the travel and tourism sector. It is further intended to provide an introduction to the legal and regulatory framework that is necessary for effective operation within a number of industries within the travel and tourism sector. Learners will interpret and apply a range of regulations and legislation within the appropriate vocational context. They will explore the legal and regulatory framework utilising real cases and consider the impact of important precedents. Learners will also have the opportunity to explore the place of business ethics in the travel and tourism sector. They will consider a range of current ethical dilemmas and the role of business ethics in the mitigation of these. Learners will conclude by applying the principles of business ethics in producing a corporate social responsibility policy for a travel and tourism business.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand the legal and regulatory framework in the travel and tourism sector

Legal framework: applicable laws and regulations
Regulatory framework: bodies eg Strategic Rail Authority (SRA), Health and Safety Executive(HSE), Health and Safety Commission (HSC), Maritime Authorities, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Air Travel Operators’ Licensing (ATOL), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA); role and regulatory powers eg arbitration service and codes of conduct
Processes: types eg legal/regulatory, criminal/civil, contract/tort/legislation, industrial tribunal, ombudsman eg rail, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), courts or organisations involved in determining outcomes
Structures: types eg Magistrates Court, County Court, Crown Court, High Court, Court of Appeal (Civil and Criminal), Supreme Courts, Constitutional Courts; roles of those involved eg solicitors, barristers
Transport law: surface and sea transport eg Carriage of Passenger by Road Act 1974, Athens, Geneva and London Conventions (limits of liability), passenger charters of UK rail/coach companies; air transport conventions and protocols eg Warsaw (1929), Hague (1955) Tokyo (1963) and Montreal (1975), Denied Boarding Compensation Schemes, European Union (1997)

2 Understand legislation and regulations relating to health, safety and security in the travel and tourism sector

Health, safety and security: current relevant domestic and European legislation eg Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Occupiers Liability Act 1984, data protection, duty of care and vicarious liability
Equality law: current relevant legislation eg Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Discrimination Act 1976, Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and Employment Act 2002, Human Rights Act 1998
Impacts of legislation and regulations: purpose of key legislation and regulations; EU Directives; health and safety; fair trading; equality and diversity legislation; data protection; employment law; national and local level

3 Understand consumer protection legislation in relation to the travel and tourism sector

Contract law: legislation relating to eg contracts for supply of goods, contracts for provision of services, contracts related to package holidays, valid contracts, unfair contracts, laws of agency
Consumer protection: legislation relating to eg Trades Description Act 1968, Consumer Protection Act 1987, the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, torts of negligence and nuisance, duty of care, vicarious liability and ‘Uberrimae Fidei’
Accommodation services: types eg definition of a hotel/inn, rights of refusal (eg Hotel Proprietors Act 1956), principles of food hygiene regulations (eg Food Act 1984)

4 Understand the role of business ethics in the travel and tourism sector

Business ethics: benefits of, responsibility and business, employment ethics, finance and investment ethics, ethics of advertising, green issues in business, international business/global ethics and the ethical consumer
Ethical theory: reason for ethics, overlap between law and ethics, law as reflecting society’s minimum norms and standards of business conduct, ethical and unethical eg Kant, Utilitarian and natural law, ethical dilemmas in travel and tourism eg marketing tourism responsibly, supporting local economies and political regimes, using resources economically etc, reconciling business life with moral values eg whistle blowing etc
How to be ethical: responding to ethical consumerism, environmental and social auditing, developing codes of practice, the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) eg sustainability,accountability,business conduct,community involvement,corporate governance, environment, human rights, marketplace/consumers and workplace/employees



Learners must be introduced at an early stage to vocationally based legal text books that include a number of relevant cases. This will enable learners to study the legal and regulatory framework via real examples and will demonstrate to them the effects of these landmark cases on the travel and tourism industry. Learners must be encouraged to keep abreast of current cases that affect the sector via quality newspapers, journals and the media. These rulings must be integrated in the delivery strategy to ensure currency.

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