Advice for Businesses: Holiday Accommodation Booking Cancellations
Information for Busineses dealing with holiday booking cancellations.
The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge that has impacted upon every business sector. Here in Glocestershire the restrictions on non-essential travel and the mandatory closure of most business premises has prompted a number of enquiries from hotels and other accommodation providers seeking clarification as to their rights and obligations in relation to forced cancellations.
Ordinarily, standard booking terms and conditions would apply where holidays had to be cancelled, but these are extra-ordinary times and legislation that was clearly introduced to reflect the state of the nation during the Second World War has again come into play and will over-ride all of those standard terms and conditions again.
The Government’s restrictions in response to Covid-19 will again bring into effect the rights and obligations contained within the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943. This legislation contains the statutory requirement to provide a full refund for any contract that has “become impossible of performance or been otherwise frustrated” for example as a result of the current Covid-19 restrictions.
Of course, the Government is providing financial support to businesses to reflect the impact that such obligations will have and advice and support on applying for this financial assistance can be obtained via your District Council Business Rates Team.
That said, Gloucestershire County Council has seen examples of where proactive, personal interaction with customers who have an existing booking has avoided the need for a cancellation and refund, either by securing a revised or postponed booking or by agreeing some other arrangement with the customer (ie deposit/monies held pending the lifting of restrictions and the re-opening of bookings). These are voluntary arrangements and in Law the customer is entitled to claim a full refund, but it does go to show that the majority of customers are very keen to have something definite to look forward to once the restrictions are removed.
If businesses do require further advice please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org