Travel entrepreneurship

Travelling for holiday, work or other purposes has become a significant part of people’s lives. In order to protect the interests of travellers and ensure equal competition for undertakings, the regulation for rights and obligations of market participants in offering and selling travel services have been clarified in the Tourism Act.

Soomaa. Foto: Karl Ander AdamiSoomaa. Photo: Karl Ander Adami

Travel undertakings according to the Tourism Act are the following undertakings:

  • Tour operators – undertakings who combine packages and sell them by itself or through another travel undertaking
  • Travel retailers – undertakings who resell packages combined by a tour operator on behalf of the tour operator
  • Undertakings which facilitate the conclusion of contracts on linked travel arrangements (new as of the 1st of July 2018)
In order to operate as a travel undertaking, the company is required to submit a notice of economic activities of a travel undertaking to the register of economic activities, and the undertaking must have a security which meets the requirements of the Tourism Act. A notice and security are not required from a travel retailer who only mediates travels from another travel undertaking founded in Estonia or another country in the European Economic Area. Proper security is security which, at any time, secures all claims of travellers arising from a package travel contract or contract on linked travel arrangement against the travel undertaking, including all prepayments received from travellers and unredeemed package gift cards. The security must also cover the expenses for returning travellers to the place of departure and, if necessary, intermediate accommodation, if the travel undertaking has become insolvent and if the package or linked travel arrangement includes transport.

The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority exercise supervision over the activities of travel undertakings.

Amendments of the Tourism Act and the Law of Obligations Act entered into force on the 1st of July 2018, more information about it is available here.

Prohibition on providing services related to tourism activities in the Crimea and Sevastopol
 

As of 23rd of June 2014, the EU established limiting measures or sanctions in response to the unlawful annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation.

According to the Council Regulation (EU) No 692/2014, article 2d, EU undertakings are prohibited to provide services related to tourism activities in Crimea or Sevastopol. This also includes the provision of tourism services from the territories of EU member states.

In relation to this, it must be considered that the Estonian state has no option of providing consular aid in Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as in the Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Donbass regions. More information is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the Commission notice to undertakings wishing to operate in Crimea or Sevastopol.

For international sanctions related to tourism services, the competent authority is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

 

Last updated: 19 June 2019