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Any organization that conducts business on larger scale needs to consider legal and regulatory aspects for protecting the interest of customers (John Wiley and Sons.Quinn, 2012). The study has been describing surface, sea and air transport law in relation to the carriage of passengers within legal and regulatory framework in travel and tourism sector. In order to protect the interest of customers, it is essential for the service providers to consider principles of health, safety and security while delivering them different types of services. Legal and unethical issues are increasing in contemporary scenario; thus for such purpose, all the organizations are complying to different acts and legislations. Alongside, several ethical dilemmas are also mentioned which are being faced by the travel and tourism sector in different service provisions. Every business in modern era is involved in Corporate Social Responsibility which further assists them to derive support from the society; hence considering this, CSR practices of Intercontinental hotel have been stated in the present research.
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Travel and tourism sector have introduced several laws and legislations which are mandatory to consider for every entity that operates business in the same sector. Under the same sector, various entities have entered which provides strategic directions to rail authority. The authority is being determined under transport act 2000 for the purpose of delegating proper directions to the railway industry (Barth and Hayes, 2006). Reason behind establishing the authority is to provide better services to the customers when they visit different places through railways and other transportation modes. Apart from this, another regulatory mechanism that operates in the same sector is Health and Safety Commission of UK. The commission ensures that all the services are integrated with quality aspects. This also provides specific guidelines to the employees to manage the services as per the interest of customers and regulatory aspects. The regulatory body is also entitled to secure the interest of government departments and staff members who all are associated with the tourism sector (Baum, 2012).
Furthermore, other entity that is involved in it is air transport association that consists of more than 268 airlines in overall airline sector. The authority gives major priority on safety and security aspects of the passengers while they fly from one place to another. The Parliament of UK has introduced several legislations for consumers and that provides civil rights to the consumers where in they should be protected as per the rights and duties (Carlsen and Andersson, 2011). The mentioned provisions are required to consider for all the entities and they should comply to these for managing legal and ethical aspects into account. In similar context, criminal law is also passed so as to reduce the amount of issues and cases prevailing related to different service provisions. This also ensures that the society is protected from all sorts of harms and hazards. With regards to this, organizations are required to promote healthy industrial relations so that employees can be manage their duties and responsibilities in adequate manner (Constanti and Zopiatis, 2007). Similarly, the government has also established a public body where local people are authorized to protect the tourists while they get engaged into illegal and unethical practices.
Development of tourism act 1969 needs to be followed in travel and tourism industry as the act lays down rules and regulations for the specific industry. This legislation is followed in UK and the act establishes British tourist authority and tourist board for England and Wales. This includes laws so as to reduce the issues related to environment protection along with health and safety aspects of the tourists (Nelson and Trevino, 2010). Laws related to IPC and CRPC should be followed adequately so as to protect the interest of all the clients. In such respect, Consumer protection from unfair trading regulation 2008 ought to be followed where in consumers should be protected from any misleading and unfair commercial practices.
Further, Licensing Act 2003 should be followed especially at the time of selling alcohol in the premises. Travel and tourism industry is also required to consider Data Protection Act 1998 where in data about each and every aspect related to customer and service provision should be recorded and maintained in adequate manner. Railway Act 1993 is yet another regulation that should be considered while delivering railway services (Quinn, 2012). Rail office has the power to regulate and prevent the abuse of dominant position and in the same act; there are several changes that have been made related to protection of consumer's interest. ABTA (Association of British Travel Agency) deals with travel agents and travel operators and the association have the control over the travel agents.
Several norms, legislations and regulations have been introduced by British Government for management of sea, surface and air transport. All such entities have to make sure that organizations involved in the same facet are complying to general laws (Cooper, 2008). In the subsequent section; major purposes of all such entities have been discussed.
Air transport: Organizations engaged in air transport have been managed under the authority of civil aviation and they are also required to monitor the practices of travel and tourism. Air and Road Act 1979 has the authority to develop several provisions related to these transportation aspects. It also provides adequate directions to the people who are engaged into airline services (Elliott, 2008).
Sea transport: Sea transportation is engaged into moving the passengers from one place to another through the sources of cruises, yachts and ships. The concerned operations are authorized under the regulation of International carriage department who manages all the operations of sea transport. Two major regulations are followed in it such as Territorial sea act 1987 and Carriage of goods by sea act 1992 who are responsible to manage the goods of passengers in effective manner (Fennell, 2006). At the time of traveling, passengers are provided with the authority to impose liability on the carrier while moving from one place to another. At the same time, specific limit is being determined by the carriage so that load can be managed appropriately. This is chiefly done for reducing the opportunities of uncertainties and accidents.
Surface transport: Surface transport on the other hand is regulated by Association of British travel agents. All the crucial operations of the organizations are managed by road and air act. At the time, when any of the party faces loss, they get claim against the damage that is being caused to passengers through surface transport (Francis and Goodwin, 2003). They have the authority to pay the right and specified amount to the passengers when they suffer any loss.
Hence, from the discussion, it is clear that these regulations are necessary to follow for every tourism organization for satiating the needs and preferences of the target market. This is also essential in terms of developing success prospects in tourism sector.
In travel and tourism sector, legislations related to health, safety and security are necessary to be considered while carrying out different operations. It is the duty of every entity to provide proper safety and security facilities to the employees so that they can prevent themselves from harms and accidents. Here some of the vital legislations are briefly discussed:
Health and safety act at workplace: As per the act, it is essential for the workplace to provide prominent facilities to the employees regarding safety and security (Holden, 2003). The same is required in travel and tourism sector as the entities are required to develop suitable environment at workplace so that employees can reduce the opportunities of accidents and injuries. At the same time, training and guidance is required to provide so that accordingly, employees can enhance their skills and abilities. All the required tools and equipment should be used at the workplace for optimum safety and security.
Data protection act 1998: The most important aspect required in travel and tourism sector is to maintain data about customers in secure data base. Personal information about the customers should not be disclosed and that should be stored in suitable database systems (John Wiley and Sons.Quinn, 2012). The data should not be shared with any of the other unauthorized person since that lies under unethical aspects. Personal information about customers should only be used at the time of requirement so that it can be prevented from unnecessary access.
Occupier's liability act 1984: Under the subsequent act, it is crucial for the travel and tourism entity to facilitate monitoring on all the operations so that the opportunities of risks and accidents can be minimized. Hence, concluding it can be said that as per the act, the entity is required to consider safety aspects of the customers because of their overall responsibility (Mizzoni, 2009).
Unfair contract terms 1977: Customers critically are required to claim in the case when the performance of the organization is not satisfactory as stated previously. The provision is generally added by the business enterprises themselves for improving organizational practices. All the provisions added in the contract must be integrated with social interest (Nelson and Trevino, 2010).
All the organizations operating business under travel and tourism sector are required to consider equality act so that all the customers as well as employees can be treated properly. All the employees and customers are entitled to get equal treatment from the entities; hence there should not be any sort of discrimination at any place (Morrison and Mahony, 2003). Travel and tourism organizations should emphasize on equality act so that employee and customer exploitation can be eradicated entirely. It has been observed that there are various organizations that are engaged into employee discrimination and exploitation due to difference in race, caste, religion and gender. This not only affects the productivity of services but also it changes the preferences of customers. Hence, every travel and tourism organization is required to manage diverse equality laws and regulations among which some are briefly discussed:
Race discrimination act 1976 and Sex discrimination act 1975: Both the acts are mainly developed for the purpose preventing employees as well as customers from unjustified behavior. This directs all the employees to consider rights and obligations of customers in equal manner. Discrimination of employees usually affects productivity and profitability of the organization and as a consequence, it also leads to customer switching to other organizations (Nelson and Trevino, 2010).
Human right act 1998: Human right act 1998 is basically developed for providing the right to speak where in employees as well as customers should be allowed to present their feedbacks and responses to the organization. The act also directs travel and tourism sector to keep many things into account concerned with rights and obligations of employees and customers.
Disability discrimination act 1995: As per the act, it is vital for all the entities working in travel and tourism sector to provide adequate support to disable people (Preston, 2007). Changes should be made in working policies and practices so that disable people can also get the opportunity to work in effectual manner. There should be appropriate provision for those employees who are physically disable.
Therefore, all these legislations could assist travel and tourism sector to manage internal and external business processes in successful manner (Barth and Hayes, 2006).
Contract legislation exists in travel and tourism sector which specifies that organizations are required to deliver prominent services to the customers for which they have paid off. Contracts also states that proper supply of goods and services should be made to the areas where demand is high. This not helps in managing supply and demand but also develops adequate interaction between suppliers and the organizations (Sharpley, 2006). As per the contract law, it has been observed that right kind of goods and services should be delivered to the customers as per their need. For instance- when any organization ensures to provide specific services to the customers; then in such case, it is mandatory for the entity to manage the same. They are not entitled to back out from their liabilities (Silvers, 2009).
Similar to other contracts, there may be certain terms and conditions in the contract which if not fulfilled then, the case could be considered as breach of contract (Gyr, 2010). Furthermore, customers are also liable to determine the time period under which the validity of the constructed contract will be finished. Hence, there must be clear directions to all the employees of hotels and travel agencies to keep into account the interest of customers and other parties. There are several cases in which business entities do frauds with the customers for getting more profits; thus customers are responsible to observe if the contract consists any such thing. Hence fair and terms and conditions should be included in all the contracts developed between the parties so as to enhance the existing customer base (Carlsen and Andersson, 2011).
There should be specific contract for the for supply of goods so that adequate services can be delivered to the clients. There must be specific contract for the provision of services; hence travel and tourism industry needs to comply Goods and Services Act 1988. There should be proper description of the hotel, place and other amenities which is supposed to be served by the travel agency. The specific industry should follow consumer law where in terms and conditions related to holiday packages should be included and described to the consumers (Holden, 2003). There should be proper contract between the consumer and service provider and that should include offer, consideration, capacity and certainty. Contract of supply of goods means that the consumers may expect a reasonable state of goods and services provided with care and skill. The mandate aspects are included in the below mentioned section:
Hence, every travel company has a binding contract with the consumer setting and every travel contract has a certain terms and conditions attached to it. On failure to communicate the set out conditions the consumer may withdraw the contract at any time (Barth and Hayes, 2006).
Travel and tourism sector is required to consider consumer protection legislation so that consumers can be protected from all sorts of misconceptions and cheating.
Terms and conditions present in the service package must be fair and suitable and it should be integrated as per the needs and demands of customers. Packages and services should be provided on similar basis according to the way it is promoted among customers (Carlsen and Andersson, 2011). This is basically developed so as to protect the customers from exploitation and fraud. If any of the entity fails to meet the needs and expectations of customers, it should made the provision to compensate for the loss caused to the customers.
At the same time trade description act 1968 should also be included where in customers should be provided with fair and justifiable information about the packages and services (Barth and Hayes, 2006). This states that companies should promote their services on fair basis through advertisements. In case, if any of the company misleads customers, then end users have the authority to claim the service provider.
Similarly, consumer protection act should also be considered which protects the consumers from illegal and unfair trade practices. Tourism entity is thus required to protect the consumers from several grounds which further also aids in promoting the service provisions in effective manner. The major aspect that lies under consumer protection act is that is should maintain all the pre-defined standards for providing range of benefits to the customers (Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations 1999, 2015).
Hence, it can be concluded that the mentioned consumer protection legislations are necessary to manage in travel and tourism sector. The acts are basically formulated for the purpose of protecting the clients from unethical and illegal terms (Holden, 2003). Thus, all the entities present in the travel and tourism sector are required to deliver prominent services to the customers. This could not only enhance customer base but also it could lead to augment performance of business.
Ethics is the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles that governs a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. Fair and justifiable advertisements should be constructed so that right kind of information can be promoted. Ethical issues are very common to happen for any industry and this most commonly prevails in travel and tourism sector. Ethics basically determines the ethical behavior of the organization (Holden, 2003). Hence, in such context, it has been observed that a few times, hotels and other restaurant chains use cheap labors and resources for minimizing cost and they also get engaged in to unfair and unethical activities to perform the functions. It is a challenge of the entire hospitality industry that it has to bind with the legal amendments as described by the legal authorities in order to survive in the market; however many times, they fail to manage the same perspective (Fennell, 2006).
Thus in such respect, tourism agency of UK have established several amendments which are designed to protect the customers from exploitation and discrimination (Silvers, 2009). Thus, for such purpose, all the entities present in travel and tourism sectors are directed to consider stern levels of hygiene so that safe and healthy food for the customers can be prepared. Gambling is considered to be an unethical practice so a major challenge in front of the hospitality industry is allow the activity of gambling within set rules and regulations. Up to some extent, issues related to ethical and unfair aspects are managed through legal processes. With the help of more growth in consumer movement, companies are getting more importance in ethical areas of concern. Thus the entities are responsible to develop fair advertisements so that right kind of promotion can be facilitated and right kind of information can be delivered (Preston, 2007). Customers probably have the authority to take action against those service providers who indulge in illegal and unethical business practices. Issues related to natural calamities and environment degradation is also increasing in modern era; hence according to that different business activities should be managed. Certain changes should be made in marketing activities as that falls under the category of responsible tourism (Constanti and Zopiatis, 2007).
Intercontinental hotel has been operating hospitality business in UK market place with the aim of delivering luxurious and better services to the customers. CSR practices of the hotel have been assisting the business to promote products and services successfully among different customer segments. As per the CSR concern, the hotel emphasizes chiefly towards social facets in which it involves all the stakeholders actively in company's processes (Francis and Goodwin, 2003). The hotel tries to serve the best to the customers through their supportive products and service provisions. Under CSR activities, Intercontinental hotel develops better atmosphere at the workplace so that the employees can interact properly with the customers. The hotel from its practices also serves economic benefit to the nation being an important part. Equal importance is being given to males and females that further also assists the hotel to enhance the level of productivity and business prosperity (Fennell, 2006). The hotel is also focused towards environmental protection; thus for such purpose it emphasizes on utilizing renewable sources of energy.
Summing up the entire case, it can be said that travel and tourism sector needs to follow legal and regulatory practices for remaining in the market place. The present study has discussed legislations that are related to equality and that helps the service providers to deliver better services to the customers. Researcher has also stated contract legislation in relation to travel and tourism customers.
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