Monday, 16 August 2010 12:00 AM
The recent volcanic ash cloud chaos has prompted The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to lobby for a review of compensation legislation.
A debate has ignited around how much airlines and tour operators should be required to compensate passengers for circumstances beyond their control.
“Tourism is being hit with a double whammy: the loss of business as planes were grounded and now the cost of reimbursing passengers,” says Jean-Claude Baumgarten, chief executive and president of the WTTC.
“We cannot help but think tourism is being punished for circumstances not of its making”
According to the WTTC, legislation is too prohibitive in its current form and needs to be changed as small and medium sized operators, which make up three-quarters of the industry, already struggling financially this year.
Chief executive Jean-Claude Baumgarten added: “While passengers should certainly be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses, the fallout of the volcanic ash cloud is unduly impacting an industry that is already subject to excessive regulation and taxation.”
Tourism is a US$5.7 trillion business and employs 235 million people worldwide.
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