International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

MODERNISATION OF INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSUMERS The existing rules on consumer rights that are valid for the offline market have been expanded to include some new rules on additional information requirements for online marketplaces. An important step forward is the circumstance that information duties have gradually been extended to traders, as well (intermediary platforms not being contractual parties in distance contracts). There is no doubt that such modernisation of information requirements can contribute to enhanced transparency of the digital market, to better provision of information and consumer protection on the online market. The new rules on information duties will undoubtedly lead to better informed consumers when entering into contracts on the online market of tourism services. Most of the new information duties for online marketplaces include information that is crucial for choosing among the offered tourism services (ranking parameters, information on reviews, information on the legal status of the providers of tourism services). However, a very dynamic development of the digital market has already shown some deficciencies of the EU system where transparency is ensured almost exclusively through general information duties. At present, numerous EU rules, in a large number of directives and regulations, in various ways and inconsistently provide for information duties.134 There is a large number of various rules dealing with information duties of the participants on the online market who have different goals depending on whether they are business users or consumers. At the same time, there is no substantial regulation of multiparty contractual relations existing on online marketplaces between consumers, business or private service providers and providers of online marketplaces.135 In particular, there are no expressly and substantially provided positive obligations of online marketplaces in relation to their users in the cases of violation of information duties to achieve a harmonised protection of users of online marketplaces at the level of the Union, and indirectly also a higher level of transparency of the digital market.136 Indeed, even within the framework of the EU rules providing for the obligations 134 See Cauffman, C., Goanta, C. (2021) pp. 760, 761. There is a warning note in literature that the problem of inconsistency of the rules on platform responsibilities regarding transparency is not solved by the Digital Single Act whose adoption is proposed within the Digital Services Act Package. See ibid, pp. 761-763. 135 See Loos (2020), p. 422 Narciso, M. (2022a) pp. 360, 363; Iamiceli, P. (2019), pp.415, 419. 136 Neither the proposed Digital Services Act, nor the Directive on Electronic Commerce provide for the positive liability of online intermediaries for the third party content. The Digital Services Act contains only the rules on exemption from liability which should replace the existing rules referred to in Arts 12-15, Directive on Electronic Commerce and are harmonised with the case law of the CJEU. See Arts 3-7, Digital Single Act. See Cauffman, C., Goanta, C. (2021), pp. 763-767; Busch, Ch., Mak, V. (2021) pp. 110,112; Duivenvoorde, B. (2022), pp. 5052.