International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TOURISM, TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY LAW unfair business practices, defines the criteria for the assessment of unfair commercial practices and it also lays down which commercial practices are considered as unfair in any circumstances. Various obligations for traders indirectly arise from all the provisions of this Directive, including the transparency requirements and information duties towards consumers that must be fulfilled by traders in B2C commercial practices in order for their activities not to be considered as unfair. On the basis of the UCPD, consumers enjoy protection against unfair business practices under all business-to-consumer contracts, in all commercial transactions and in relation to any goods and services,52 including tourism services. It is the protection of consumers against unfair commercial practices ensured before, during and after commercial transactions.53 The protection is provided at the level of the Member States obliged, in their legal orders, to ensure efficient and appropriate means to combat unfair commercial practices such as cessation or prohibition of unfair commercial practices.54 Already within the framework of the former provisions of the UCPD (before the amendments to the Omnibus Directive), it was possible, on the digital single market, including the online tourism services market, to provide some form of consumer protection against unfair business practices based on inaccurate, incomplete and nontransparent information. The provisions of the UCPD are largely the rules indirectly providing for the traders’ obligation to provide, in a transparent way, consumer information important for reaching an informed transactional decision.55 These rules can be applied to both offline and online markets. However, in order to ensure a higher level of consumer protection on the digital market, the European rules on unfair commercial practices had to be modernised and adjusted to the new business practices on the online market.56 52 See Art. 2 (d) UCPD. 53 Art. 3 UPCD. 54 See Art. 11, UCPD. Until the amendment of 2019, the protection was primarily based only on the public enforcement of consumer protection (Art. 11, UCPD). By the Omnibus Directive, the obligation of Member States has been introduced to lay down proportionate and effective individual redress for consumers harmed by unfair commercial practice. Private enforcement of unfair commercial practices rules has thus been introduced. Member States are obliged to provide for individual remedies such as compensation for damage, price reduction or the termination of contract (Art. 11a UCPD inserted by Art. 3 (5) Omnibus Directive). See Loos (2020), pp. 409-412. See recital 16, Omnibus Directive, Art. 3 (5) Omnibus Directive by which a new Art. 11a was inserted in the UCPD. 55 See, for example, Arts 5, 6, 7/1-3, 4 (a-e) UCPD. 56 See recitals 17 -29, Omnibus Directive.