Buyers of travel arrangements which have in the meantime been cancelled and for which they have been given vouchers by travel agencies, will be able to choose another trip or get a refund, according to a proposal to amend the Tourism Services Act.
The government on Thursday sent the proposed amendments to parliament for a second reading.
The amendments are aligned with the EU Package Travel Directive, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac said.
The law will also be aligned with the EU directive on services in the internal market and the directive on the recognition of professional qualifications, notably the section relating to services provided by tourist guides.
The amendments are necessary after the European Commission launched two proceedings against Zagreb for breaching the EU acquis.
Under the EU Package Travel Directive, travellers have the right to get reimbursement in money. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, many member states, including Croatia, adopted national rules allowing organisers of package travel to issue mandatory vouchers, instead of reimbursement in money for cancelled trips, or to postpone reimbursement far beyond the 14-day period, as set in the Package Travel Directive. Those national rules breach the provisions of this EU directive and weaken consumer rights, the Commission said in October.
The amendments concerning professional qualifications tackle qualifications of tourist guides in response to two actions that the European Commission launched against Croatia for breach of EU law, which are in the last phase before launching proceedings before the EU court, she added.