The German government should copy a dozen other EU states by introducing a national scheme promoting vouchers for cancelled holiday bookings after Brussels rejected the plan, tourism leaders are demanding.
In early April, the German government approved a plan for customers whose holidays have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic to be given a voucher to book a new holiday of the same value at any time over the next 21 months. If the customer did not use this voucher by December 31, 2021, then the tour operator would be obliged to refund the customer's original payment.
After weeks without an official response, Didier Reynders, the EU Commissioner for Justice, told German media last week that he did not support the German voucher plan. Consumers should have the right to choose between vouchers and repayments, he said. This meant that vouchers could be voluntary at most but not obligatory.
The DRV is now demanding that Berlin should follow the example of a dozen other EU states by introducing a 'national regulation' to promote the holiday vouchers which would comply with EU law. "Tour operators and travel agents must be protected against the threat of insolvency," declared DRV president Norbert Fiebig.
"These results show how dramatic the situation is for the travel industry, especially for small and medium-sized travel agents and tour operators," Fiebig said. "It is to be feared that the majority of the 11,000 travel agencies and more than 2,300 tour operators will not survive this existential threat from the corona pandemic.