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Exceptional and temporary regime, relating to the tourism sector, Decree-Law No. 17/2020

 

5 of June, 2020

 

 

The Portuguese Parliament has decreed an exceptional and temporary regime for the tourism sector, – Decree-Law 17/2020 – which comes into force tomorrow, April 24th, 2020:

a) Trips organized by travel and tourism agencies;

b) The cancellation of reservations in tourist resorts and accommodation establishments and the relationships between travel and tourism agencies, tourist entertainment operators and tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments.

 

The following legal diploma results:

 

a) Regarding trips organized by travel and tourism agencies:

I. Travelers with canceled trips have the right to choose to issue a voucher of equal value to the payment made and valid until December 31, 2021 or to reschedule the trip until December 31, 2021;

II. In the event that they opt for the voucher, it is issued at the order of the holder and is transferable by mere tradition, and, in the event that it is used for the same trip, even if on a different date, the insurance that has been contracted at the time of purchase of the travel service;

III. If the voucher is not used or the trip is not rescheduled by December 31, 2021, the traveler is entitled to a refund of the reservation amount, to be made within 14 days, after December 31, 2021, or that is, the reimbursement will only occur in 2022;

IV. There is, however, an exception with regard to the reimbursement period, which concerns situations of unemployment, that is, in the case of consumers who are unemployed and who opt for reimbursement, the reimbursement of the entire amount spent on the travel must be made within 14 days from 04/24/2020 and not only in 2022, as in other cases;

V. Regarding senior trips or similar, provided for in article 11 of Decree-Law no. 10-A/2020, of 13 March, in its current wording, travelers may opt for any of the modalities provided for in paragraph 1 of this article, applying to them the regime provided for in the previous numbers, with non-compliance attributable to travel agencies. travel and tourism of the provisions, as a result of the measures adopted in the face of the state of emergency, allows travelers to activate the travel and tourism guarantee fund.

b) Regarding the cancellation of reservations at tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments:

Reservations of accommodation services in tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments located in Portugal, with or without complementary services, made directly by the guest in the resort or establishment or through online platforms, for the period from March 13, 2020 to 30 September 2020, which are not carried out or which are canceled due to a fact related to the declaration of a state of emergency decreed in the country of origin or in Portugal, or even with the closure of borders attributable to the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease pandemic. 19, in the form of non-refund of amounts paid, grant, exceptionally and temporarily, to guests the right to choose:

I. By issuing a voucher of equal value to the payment made by the guest and valid until December 31, 2021;

or

II. By rescheduling the reservation of the accommodation service until December 31, 2021, by agreement between the guest and the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment.

Thus,

III. In situations where the guest opts for a voucher, it is issued to the guest and is transferable by mere tradition, and can be used by those who present it also as a principle of payment for services of higher value, according to the availability of the enterprise. or establishment and under the conditions applicable on the new intended dates;

IV. In cases of rescheduling, if the same is done for a date when the applicable rate is below the value of the initial reservation, the difference must be used in other services of the tourist resort or the local accommodation establishment, not being returned to the guest if he/she does not to use;

V. This regime does not cover refundable reservations for accommodation services in tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments, to which the cancellation rules provided for at departure apply;

VI. If not used by December 31, 2021, the guest is entitled to a refund, to be made within 14 days;

VII. However, until September 30, 2020, guests who are unemployed can request a refund of the entire amount spent, to be made within 14 days;

VIII. If the rescheduling is not made until December 31, 2021, due to lack of agreement between the tourist resort or the local accommodation establishment and the guest, the guest has the right to be refunded the amount paid when canceling the reservation, the effect within 14 days;

IX. If the rescheduling is made for a date when the applicable rate is below the value of the initial reservation, the difference must be used in other services of the tourist resort or local accommodation establishment, not being returned to the guest if he does not use it;

X. The rescheduling can only be done directly with the tourist resort and local accommodation establishment;

XI. The above does not apply to refundable reservations, in which case the cancellation rules of tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments, indicated below, must apply.

c) Regarding the relationship between travel agencies, tour operators and tourist resorts and local accommodation establishments:

I. With regard to the relations between travel and tourism agencies, tourist entertainment operators and tourist developments and local accommodation establishments, the decree-law provides that canceled reservations made in the form of non-refund of amounts paid confer , exceptionally and temporarily, to these operators the right to credit the unused amount;

II. This credit must be used for the settlement of costs with any other reservation of services with the same tourist resort or the same establishment of local accommodation, on a date defined by the travel and tourism agency or by the tourist entertainment operator, subject to availability of accommodation, until December 31, 2021;

III. In the event that the tourist resort or the local accommodation establishment is not available for multiple dates requested by the travel and tourism agency or tourist entertainment operator until December 31, 2021, the travel and tourism agency or entertainment operator tourist may request the refund of the credit to be made within 14 days;

IV. If the travel and tourism agency or tourist entertainment operator is unable to make a new reservation of accommodation service in a tourist resort or local accommodation establishment located in Portugal until December 31, 2021, the deposit amount must be returned to the period of 14 days after this date.

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