Package travel or organised travel

Package travel, or organised travel, is the result of the technological innovations that have contributed to shaping the tourism system. According to historian Laurent Tissot (2000), Thomas Cook was one of its forefathers. He managed to design a trip from London to Switzerland at a fixed and pre-determined price by negotiating with the French railway companies. This spatial technology then met with a marked success and contributed to the advent of mass tourism. Two contributions offer insights into this concept: firstly, a legal approach by Delphine Bazin-Beust, MCF-HDR of law at the University of Caen Normandie, and secondly a geographical approach by Philippe Violier, Emeritus Professor, University of Angers.

Package travel from a legal point of view

European law provides for the protection of travellers who purchase packages by requiring the professionals who issue them, i.e., travel agents, to provide a financial guarantee and to be held accountable for their proper execution. Customers are protected against the risk of financial failure that could compromise their repatriation or their reimbursement. And in case of issues in the execution of the package, before or after departure, the travel agent is a kind of one-stop shop accountable for all the providers involved in the package. At a time when travellers are tempted to put together their own package via the internet by purchasing various services separately, it is important for travel agents to create awareness of the protective scheme that is part of a package travel contract. It is therefore crucial to define the concept of package, a task made complex by the digitalisation of tourism.

See the Package travel by Delphine Bazin-Beust.

Organised travel from a geographical point of view

Package travel, or organised travel, consists of a combination of services put together by an operator with a view to marketing it to tourists as it is or tailored to a specific request. In common parlance, it is called a tourist product, although the participation of tourists implies joint production, and the coincidence in time between production and consumption, that is specific to service activities. Jean Gadrey (1992; 1996) proposed the term “servuction” to qualify these operations.

See organised travel by Philippe Violier.