Tourism operators – Covid-19 impacts

Many tourism operators have already experienced the unprecedented fallout from Covid-19 and the ramifications of the virus on their businesses.  We have had inquiries from concerned tourism operators seeking advice on their legal position in relation to cancellations, pre-paid bookings and their rights and obligations to current and future tour participants.

Rights and obligations of the tour operator and the tour participant may be set out in the tour operator’s Terms & Conditions, but may also be impacted by industry custom and practice and the law relating to the implication of contract terms.  It is likely that the legal effect on tour operators will differ for each individual business.

It is increasingly likely that some tour operators will be restricted in some way in undertaking their tours, and options may exist to reschedule or redesigned routes if particular access to parts of the tour, such as indigenous communities, is restricted.

It is critical to have a plan ready for your business, in circumstances where you will not be able to undertake a tour or where restrictions will be imposed on travel and or access to some places, particularly where passengers and clients have prepaid tours or paid deposits on tours.

We strongly suggest that all tour operators, including those that are still able to run their tours, immediately seek advice in relation to their rights, obligations and possible options, in relation to the tours that are planned and booked and where clients and passengers have paid deposits or more.

This is an unprecedented situation for which most businesses will not have planned.  Knowing your rights as a tour operator and assessing your options is an absolutely necessity as a means to prevent disputation and, importantly, to maintain transparency and your goodwill for the future.

To discuss your situation please contact Phil on phil@bailiwicklegal.com.au      or on (08) 9321 5451

To read about our Tourism & Hospitality Practice    or to read about what you can do if you can’t meet your contracted terms click here

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