International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

“Just because it says package travel doesn’t mean it is package travel!” Legal framework for language travel providers caught between travel law and service law1 Marie Vandersanden, Germany2 What are the legal pitfalls in classifying travel services? This contribution will highlight this topic using the example of language travel. INTRODUCTION Have you ever had a case where the insolvency insurance did not cover the insolvency of a language travel provider with the argument that the services provided were not subject to package travel law? These cases accumulate due to corona insolvencies regarding language-travel and high-school-exchange- -programes. We had insolvencies of cross-border language-travel-companies, due to Covid, where the insolvency protectors decided contradictory in the EU Member States. Even though we had the same company, the same services, we got different decisions: In one European country the courts refuse to reimburse the educational client, in the other Member State not (see exemplary the case of STS Education and the court decisions in Italy and France). This shows we have DOI 1 This contribution is a summary of two presentations by Marie Vandersanden, given in Lisbon and Malta at the International Conference on International Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2022 (INATEL Caparica, Lisbon, Portugal, 17th – 18th October 2022) and the 33th Annual Conference of the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates (University of Malta Valetta Campus, Malta, 28th November 2022 – 1st December 2022). 2 Marie Vandersanden is attorney at law and founder of the law firm “TourismLawyers”, headquartered in Germany (, In addition to her legal practice for the tourism industry with focus on intellectual property law and international contract law, she is a member of important industry associations such as the German Travel Law Association (DGfR), the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates (IFTTA) or the German Travel Association (DRV). Marie Vandersanden is editor of the monthly travel law specialist service (ReiseRFD) published by C.H. Beck and contributes to various national and international publications and lectures on travel and tourism law.