The period for refunding the money paid by clients for scheduled vacations when the contracts are terminated before the trip starts was extended from 14 days to 540 days by a bill adopted by Parliament on May 21, IPN reports.
According to the bill author, Socialist MP Adrian Lebedinski, the proposed measure will offer the tour operators affected by the COVID-29 pandemic the possibility of fulfilling their contractual obligations, including of refunding the money to clients who asked or will ask for a refund. The measure applies only to the contracts signed during October 2019 – March 17, 2020, when a state of emergency was declared.
The bill was drafted following proposals formulated by the National Association of Travel Agencies in connection with the multiple requests to annul the vacation packages. At the same time, the foreign partners of national travel firms refuse to pay back the collected money during a period shorter than 540 days. In such conditions, the Moldovan travel agencies are in an objective situation of impossibility of refunding the money to clients during the period stipulated by the national legislation and risk being engaged in court disputes.
During October 2019 – March 2020, the local travel agencies collected almost €5 million from about 25,000 clients for vacation packages that were paid partially or fully. The foreign transfers made by travel agencies in the period for these packages exceeded €6 million.