Do any of the recent regulatory changes affect your business?

Over the past few weeks and months, there have been some key changes affecting businesses in our industry, and you should be aware of them. They may not all affect you, but they could affect your suppliers or the even the way your customers access and use your venue.

We’ve given brief outlines of the new regulations below, but if you’d like any further information, contact you Club Insure account handler.

GDPR

We’ll get this one out of the way early because you’re probably sick of hearing about it by now. For those of you who have been living in outer space for the past 18 months, there have been a number of changes to the rules and regulations regarding the way customer data is used and stored.

We won’t go through all the regulation changes again, but here are some key points to bear in mind:

1.       Personal data can only be used for the agreed purpose. For the hotel industry, this will mostly involve your marketing and booking forms. It’s not rocket science, just be clear with your customer about why you need their personal information. For instance, if you require an email address to confirm a booking, ask your customer if they’re ok with you sending them marketing emails in the future.

2.       Staying with data, and there’s new regulations regarding the length of time you can keep data. No longer is there a blanket rule for all data. You should now only keep data for a length of time proportionate to its use. That sounds complicated, and admittedly it can produce some grey areas. But mostly, it’s about using common sense. For example, CCTV of an alleyway outside your business, where no crime is detected, doesn’t need to be kept for 5 years. That’s disproportionate.

3.       The customer has more rights. The right to be forgotten, the right to withdraw consent and the right to know what information you keep about them. This is about being open, honest and clear, which is something all good businesses are with their customers anyway. In essence, the regulations suggest that the customer is in constant possession of their data, and you just hold a copy. As it is their possession, they have the right to say who has a copy and why.

New Music License

For those of you who allow guests or subcontractors to play copyrighted music at your venue, you probably already know about PPL and PRS fees. For everyone else, these are fees payable to governing bodies which are essentially a payment to the record labels and recording artists.

To those who need to pay it, nothing much is changing. They’re now joining the two payments together so you don’t have to pay them separately. They will however, still be calculated separately. So don’t blame them both if you see a massive rise in costs!

Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018

The new regulations in this area involve businesses that sell two or more of the following services:

1.       Transport

2.       Accommodation

3.       Vehicle hire

4.       Other tourism service

Purchasing two or more, depending on the circumstances, would constitute a Package or Linked Travel arrangement.

What is a Package and what are the rules

The purchase becomes a package when you sell two or more from the list, or you work with another provider to sell two or more.

There are a number of rules you have to abide by if you’re selling packages:

  • Having insolvency protection that covers all reasonable costs, including the return of all payments for services not performed and repatriation.
  • Providing the customer with comprehensive pre-contractual and contractual information on the package, the terms and conditions and the customers’ rights
  • Only altering the price in specific circumstances and not within 20 days of departure
  • Allowing the customer to cancel without being charged if any price increase exceeds 8%
  • Not significantly changing the main components of the package without offering free cancellation to the customer.
  • Charging only a justifiable fee if the customer terminates the contract.

Failure to provide pre-contractual information, or to provide a contract in general, could result in a fine.

What is a Linked Travel Arrangement and what are the rules

A Linked Travel Arrangement, or LTA for short, is formed when a customer purchases one element of their trip, and is targeted with a special offer for another offer within 24 hours. This includes partnerships with other businesses e.g when you offer discounted hotel accommodation because a customer has booked to see a show in the local area. It’s important to note that you have to benefit financially for it to be a LTA- merely signposting to another business does not count.

Rules on LTAs are a lot less stringent than if you’re selling a package, but as with Packages, you need some form of insolvency protection. In fact, it’s a criminal offence not to have it.

What do you need to do if you are selling a Linked Travel Arrangement?

The requirements if you are selling a Linked travel Arrangement are a lot lower than if you are selling a Package. The key requirement is that you have some form of insolvency protection, such as insolvency insurance, keeping customer payments in a trust account or being bonded.

As with selling packages, it is a criminal offence to sell Linked Travel Arrangements without Insolvency Protection.

If you’d like any further information on anything you’ve read, we’d be happy to help and talk you through it. Fill out the contact form at the top of this page and we’ll get back to you.

By | 2018-09-03T12:44:48+00:00 September 3rd, 2018|Articles|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sam is NDML's Social Media Manager. If you have any questions about NDML, our products, or press enquiries, you can find him on Twitter @RomeroSocialSH

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