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New package tour law in force in Norway

An updated version of an earlier law now gives consumers more right when organising their own travels.

An updated version of Norway’s Package Travel Act has come into force this week, giving outbound travellers even stronger rights. Now it is safer for them to put together their own holidays.

The law gives Norwegians greater rights, for example, when organising a trip themselves that includes air travel with hotel bookings added.

The old law already gave the clients of travel agencies and tour operators many rights, but it eventually became outdated, as now two out of every three Norwegians organise their own travel, using different websites, Norway’s TV 2 news and Norway Today report.

“The law gives you the right to cancel within certain deadlines, you are protected against bankruptcy and you have one counter-party to deal with if you are going to complain,” explains Pia Cecilie Høst, consumer communications director at the Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet), a government agency.

You can now also get a refund of the hotel costs in addition to the flight ticket if a flight is cancelled.

Implications for businesses
The government submitted a proposal for the new travel laws in parliament in March, and it entered into force on July 1. The law has been implementing the EU Package Travel Directive since 2015.

The directive ensures that Norwegians who buy travel packages from foreign companies have the same rights as buyers from Norwegian businesses.

And the new law includes a number of requirements for tour operators, with additional circumstances now covered by the regulations. Among other things, car rental and purchase of concert tickets can be regarded as parts of a travel package, supporting more consumers against the potential bankruptcy of organisers.

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