EU rules governing the definition of what constitutes package travel are in the process of being changed to adapt the relevant regulations in EU law to the realities of modern-day online booking systems. The Package Travel Directive, which has been in force since 1990, is now an outdated piece of legislation that does take into account the rapid growth in online travel arrangements (via for example e-booking sites), registered in recent years. The Commission proposal extends the list of pre-contractual information that a package organiser should provide to the consumer. Another controversial aspect is the strengthening of the redress possibilities skewed to the expense of the commercial service provider. According to the draft rules, whenever a service is not delivered up to expectations, consumers will also be able to lay claim to any “immaterial damages” suffered, especially in case of a spoilt holiday. From a Maltese hospitality industry perspective, the greatest concern derives from a confusing and incoherent introduction of the possibility for the consumer to withdraw from the contract at any time. This provision will create a dual legal system in which there is no such mandatory right of withdrawal for stand-alone hotel bookings, while incomprehensibly there would be a right of withdrawal for the same hotel booking when combined to other tourism services when jointly purchased online. The practical difficulties that will be faced by hotels when managing bookings carried out by third parties are amply evident. Get the full story at The Malta Independent Read also "Special Report: Clarity emerging on implications of revised package travel rules" at Travel Weekly UK