International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

LIABILITY OF ONLINE PLATFORMS IN TOURISM SECTOR services is specially targeted to this area and it has introduced set of rules governing principles for relations between providers of online intermediation services and online search engines and business users and corporate website users that offer goods or services to consumers through these channels. 3. PLATFORMS OPERATING IN THE TOURISM MARKET AND THEIR SERVICES For our purposes are most relevant platforms connected with provision and intermediation of travel services. If we borrow the definition of ‚travel service’ from the Package Travel Directive 2015, most prominent services in tourism are • carriage of passengers, • accommodation, • rental of cars, other motor vehicles or motorcycles, • and ‘other services’ as admission to concerts, sport events, excursions or event parks, guided tours, ski passes and rental of sports equipment such as skiing equipment, or spa treatments. Platforms operating in the tourism market may have a different nature in terms of the activities and level of control, e.g., interference or influence on the actual provision of the service by a third party. The operator of the platform can participate in the market by controlling the transactions carried out on the given platform, while the contracts are concluded directly by the platform, or their conclusion is at least demonstrably mediated by the platform. Such intermediary platforms achieve their income exclusively or at least predominantly through commissions from concluded contracts (Airbnb,, etc.). The role of the platform as the intermediary is to facilitate mutual transactions between providers and service users, but it is not excluded that relevant services are also provided by the platforms themselves.13 Platforms enable customers to conclude contracts for the supply of services with suppliers within a digital environment controlled by the platform operator or they enable suppliers to place advertisements within a digital environment controlled by the platform operator which can be browsed by customers in order to contact suppliers and to conclude a contract outside the platform (e.g. Tripadvisor redirecting to the platform; 13 Novotná and Hulmák, 2020, p. 23.