The Package Travel Regulations are not optional

Did you know that in 2018 the Package Travel Regulations were updated & now offer you – as a consumer – more protection than ever?

The Package Travel Regulations offer protection if you are on a trip that is defined as a package holiday.
Virtually all photography tour of 24 hours or longer are required to be compliant with the Package Travel Regulations.
For the purposes of the Package Travel Regulations, a package holiday is defined as a pre-arranged combination of at least two of the following:
  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Other tourist services which make up a significant proportion of the package. For example a spa service on a spa break, or a guided safari tour on a safari holiday.

So you see, that last point covers a lot of ground, safaris in India, tuition from the accompanying guide, many of the aspects of wildlife photography trips fall into that last section. This, in turn, means that virtually all wildlife photography trips from all providers be they large or small are required to be covered by the Package Travel Regulations.

Are Natureslens Legally Compliant?

NaturesLens are 100% compliant & work under the basis of continually adhering to the Package Travel Regulations – this means for example that we are insured for Financial Failure – the 1992 EC Package Travel Regulations make it illegal to take any consumer money for any package holiday without having the appropriate level of protection in place – sadly there are a number of rogue operators who will take monies & do not have bonding or insurance in place.
What Financial Failure Insurance means is that the initial deposit, & subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form is covered. Our insurance policy, which is provided to you at no cost to yourselves also include repatriation if required – although we seriously hope that does not happen!

How did the current Covid-19 Pandemic affect Natureslens trips?

In the case of all our trips for 2020, we wanted to go beyond what was being proposed by the travel industry, which was to hang out & see what happened, we didn’t think this was fair, so we took an early decision to move all our trips to 2021 that we thought were going to be affected – we are keeping an eye on our remaining holidays & will discuss with affected clients as appropriate, should the need arise.
If a tour is cancelled, the Package Travel Regulations are there to protect you the consumer, you should not have to fall back on your travel insurance – although we still insist that you take out insurance, for other issues that might arise – nor should you have to fall back on a chargeback via your credit card; any travel operator that is operating in compliance with the Package Travel Regulations is legally bound by the regulations & has to provide you with a refund! If they are not operating legally then sadly, you are on your own, we have heard of some travel insurers & credit card companies refusing to pay out because the traveller did not book with a company that was operating in a legal fashion.

Do Personal Guarantees negate the need for the Regulations?

Absolutely not, a client of ours recently forwarded a number of emails being sent out by Roy De Ruijter & Janette Hill of Natural Wonders Photography, in which they claim that the Package Travel Regulations do not apply to Natural Wonders Photography or Chameleon Photography & that both Roy De Ruijter, as the person writing the email, & Janette Hill, the owner of the partner company, were prepared to write a letter offering a personal guarantee regarding getting their money back if the trip was cancelled or the company failed.
This is completely illegal – the only way to guarantee your money is safe is to ensure that the company you are booking with is operating legally & is compliant with the Package Travel Regulations. A personal guarantee also means nothing when you are lining up behind other creditors if the company fails or cannot provide your trip for any reason.
Sadly, it was also brought to our attention that Janette Hill had to be threatened with legal action to comply with the Package Travel Regulations, due to her refusing to refund he clients for trips that were cancelled.
You will know whether the company is or is not it has to be stated in the booking terms & conditions & most providers display it on their web site – you will find ours at the bottom of all our event pages – it is that rather wordy paragraph …

If you cannot find this information with any trip provider, ask them, anyone that is insured & compliant will be more than happy to share the required information with you, usually including the name of the company who is providing the insurance.

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