New Book Review – Turističko pravo/Tourism Law

Authors: Prof. Dr. Dragan Vujisić, Faculty of Law, University of Kragujevac and Doc. Dr. Andrej Mićović, Faculty of Hotel Management and Tourism in Vrnjačka Banja, University of Kragujevac

Reviewer: Snežana Miladinović, Ph.D., Full-time Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Montenegro

The textbook Tourism Law, written in Serbian by Prof. Dr. Dragan Vujisić and Doc. Dr. Andrej Mićović, is one of a number of texts produced by the Faculty of Hotel Management and Tourism in Vrnjačka Banja, University of Kragujevac, Serbia. It was published in late 2016.

The book is published within the framework of the TEMPUS Project „Modernization and Harmonization of Tourism Study Programmes in Serbia“, No. 544543-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-RS-TEMPUS-JPCR.

The textbook provides a thorough legal analysis of both tourism and hospitality status and contract rules, which are currently in force at the national and EU level, by taking into account respective doctrinal views. It complies with the highest scientific and pedagogical standards.

The book is primarily designed for students who are enrolled at different type of faculties and study programs (tourism and hospitality, law, economy, management), but it is also a valuable material for legal practitioners and tourism and hospitality operators.

In short, this text is highly recommendable and will also certainly appeal to the professional and scientific public.

It consists of 290 pages and is divided into two parts. The first part is devoted to the legal status and business activities of tourism and hospitality operators. The second part deals with tourism and hospitality contracts. In addition, there is also an Introduction at the very beginning of the book. The Introduction, the first part and timeshare contract from the second part, are written by Doc. Dr. Andrej Mićović. Other tourism related contracts from the second part are written by Prof. Dr. Dragan Vujisić. The textbook contains a foreword, abbreviations, bibliography, the list of electronic sources and index page.

The Introduction provides a definition of tourism law and its subject, historical overview of the development of tourism and tourism law, as well as a classification of tourism-related legal sources. From the very beginning, the authors take the reader on a journey through the evolution of tourism and hospitality related rules, from the earliest ages to modern times. Doc. Dr. Andrej Mićović underlined the importance of travel for the emergence of rudimentary forms of travel and tourism services, which gradually evolved into their current form.

The first part of the book, titled Status Tourism Law, is divided into five chapters.
The first chapter deals with terms and concepts used in the tourism industry and standards for providing services in tourism, particularly standards for the categorization of accommodation, hunting and nautical facilities.

In the second chapter, Doc. Dr. Andrej Mićović, analyzes the legal form and the legal status of tourism service providers, and points out different types of providers of tourist activities. Issues related to the establishment, organization and management of tourist area, organizations for tourism promotion, travel agencies, tourist guides and accommodation service providers, are explained in detail.

The third chapter is devoted to the conceptual definition and types of tourism and hospitality business activities. The text of this chapter is divided into five subchapters. The first subchapter is devoted to an introductory discussion on tourism and hospitality activities and their classification. In the second, the author discusses in detail tourism-related activities which include provision of travel agency services, professional services in tourism (services of tourist guides, local tourist guides, tourist escorts, tourist animators and representatives at tourist destinations), special adventure and sports and recreation tourism services and car rental services. The subject of the third subchapter are hospitality business activities, followed by nautical activities in the fourth subchapter and hunting tourism-related activities in the fifth.

The fourth chapter of the first part covers the registration of tourism and hospitality entities and contains the basic principles, the registration processes, the content of the tourism registry and registration documentation.

Finally, the fifth chapter deals with controls over the business activities of tourism and hospitality entities and also with tourism-related taxes and penalties.

The second part of the book, titled Tourism and Hospitality Contracts, is divided into seven chapters.

Prof. Dr. Dragan Vujisić conducts a legal analysis of the package travel contracts, travel agency contracts, allotment contracts[1] , hospitality services contracts, agency contracts on hospitality services, food and drink service contracts, while Doc. Dr. Andrej Mićović contributes to this part with a legal analysis of the timeshare contract.

The first chapter of the second part of the book is devoted to the package travel contract. After definiting this contract, the author gives an overview of the respective national rules and makes reference to the content, role and importance of Directive 90/314 EEC and its eventual successor Directive 2015/2302/EU. The obligations of the organiser and traveller and related specific rights are analized in detail. Special attention is paid to changes in the law in the package travel contract before the start of the package and to the liability of the organiser as well.

The second chapter focuses on the intermediary travel contract. Taking into account national and EU legislation, the author analyses the definition and characteristics of the contract, rights and obligations of the contract parties, form of the contract, as well as the liability of travel intermediaries.

Allotment contract is the subject of legal analysis in the third chapter. Prof. Dr. Vujisic thoroughly analyses this contract, its content, types and effects.

The fourth chapter deals with the hospitality services contract, its definition, basic characteristics, obligations of the hospitality service provider and guest, termination of the contract.

The main focus of the fifth chapter is on agency contracts on hospitality services, where the author describes its concept, types, characteristics, content, conclusion and termination of contract, taking into account national and comparative law rules.

Food and drink service contracts are the main subject of the sixth chapter of part two, in particular, the definition of the contract, its conclusion, obligations of the contract parties.

The seventh chapter is dedicated to the timeshare contract, which is thoroughly analyzed through national and comparative law perspectives and respective rules at the EU level. The analysis covers the legal forms of time-sharing, legal mechanisms for the protection of consumer rights, rights and obligations of the contracting parties and termination of contract. The central part of the analysis is dedicated to the legal nature of the timeshare contract.

Overall, the content of this book will certainly be useful for both theory and practice, as it is hard to find such a comprehensive, current and relevant legal material on this topic in Serbia and in the neighbouring countries. The countries of the former Yugoslavia would certainly be interested in this book as they not only share a common legal background and similar problems in practice, but also a common language. Furthermore, they are on the way to sharing a future within the EU (Slovenia and Croatia are already members). This book, therefore, has great practical value in collectting Serbian tourism law rules in the one place, and in facilitating comparative legal analysis in the post Yugoslavian context. It will facilitate identifying similarities and differences between the tourism law rules of the relevant countries, and should make it easier to achieved harmonization of these rules with the acquis communautaire. In addition, the book has significant scientific value, since it, inter alia, contains rules from the Serbian Draft Civil Code and new Package Travel Directive 2015/2302. The first set of rules are yet to be adopted in their final form (which allows the Serbian legislator to complement the Draft Civil Code with the respective package travel rules adopted at EU level) and the latter ones are currently in the process of transposition in the Member States.

In order to further enrich the text, the authors could pro futuro consider including EU passenger’s rights regulations which would cover different means of transport (air, bus, rail, ship). These rules are particularly important for the tourists who buy single services outside of the package. Nevertheless, this book is an excellent legal text which will be useful for both lawyers and non-lawyers and which will also provide students with necessary legal knowledge on current tourism and hospitality rules in Serbia and at EU level.

For all the aforementioned reasons, this book is definitely worth reading. Among other things, it shows that knowlegde and travel go along together. Inexhaustible is the human need for knowledge. Even Aristotle in his Metaphysics noted that “all men are by their nature constantly seeking for knowledge,” which explaines “the importance given to observation, especially visual one“. Eyesight more than any other sence enables cognition. The process of acquiring theoretical knowledge is easier if it is underpinned by the practical one. Journeys and travel have great importance precisely because they helps us learn about new areas, countries, nations, cultures, customs. As Henry Miller once wrote: “Our destination is never a place, but a new way of looking at things.” The man, as being of knowledge, travels (regardeless on the particular motive) with one ultimate aim – to look at things and himself among them in a new way.

Thanks to the books co-authors, Prof. Dr. Dragan Vujisić and Doc. Dr. Andrej Mićović, readers are given the opportunity to “travel“ through the legal “areas” of Tourism Law. Reviewer’s advice is that you should not miss the opportunity to take this inspiring journey.

[1]According to the allotment contract (contract for accommodation/catering capacities), the hotel-keeper undertakes the duty to provide a certain number of beds or capacity to the travel agency, to provide services to the travel agency’s guests, and pay a certain commission to the travel agency. In exchange, the travel agency undertakes to make the bookings or notify the hotel-keeper about the impossibility of complying with the contractual terms and to pay the cost of services, if the travel agency used the contracted accommodation. An allotment contract is actually a type of the agency hotel-keeper’s contract related to the booking of specific capacity (certain number of beds or accommodation units) and the ability or inability to cancel the contract. There are two types of allotment contract in comparative law: 1) allotment contract with the (travel agency’s) right of unilateral withdrawal from the contract (the real allotment contract), and 2) allotment contract with the guarantee charge (the allotment contract ”full for empty”). In comparative law, allotment contract as a rule is not regulated in national laws, or in European or international regulations. It is mostly part of customary law or business practices, where it is also subject to two ‘soft law’ codifications of business practices: 1) European ECTAA-HOTREC Code and 2) International IH&RA-UFTAA Code.

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