In today's competitive world, it is necessary for business organization to maintain their business activities in a legal manner. For that, they needs to adopt the laws and regulations of government related to supply of goods and services, health and safety, sex discrimination, consumer protection and equity (World Health Organization., 2010). The adoption of these laws in beneficial for company to crate their positive image towards public along with enhancing the growth of their business in legal and ethical manner. In this manner, the present report describes about the legal and regulatory framework of travel and tourism sector. With this, it describes the laws which should be followed by travel industry into surface, air and sea transport. Furthermore, this report includes the description of laws related to health and safety, equality and consumer protection. With this, it defines the ethical dilemmas faced by travel and tourism industry along with the importance of corporate social responsibility in this sector. For better understanding, Marriott hotel has been selected.
Explain the legal and regulatory framework of travel and tourism sector
Now days,tourism is one of the leading and growing sectors worldwide. In United Kingdom, there are so many tourist destinations which receive millions of tourists every year. Further, tourists can enjoy so many choices when they travel in United Kingdom. Increment in the variety of choices also leads to increase in the potential problems that are related to travel and tourism sector (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2014). These issues are related to health, safety, security, abuse, crime, human rights, discrimination, data protection, equality and fair trading. To overcome these problems, there is an English legal system that is designed by the government of UK which consists of number of laws, legislation and regulations in order to ensure the safety of nation and society. English legal system consists of two types of laws which are as follows:
- Criminal law: It includes the rules and regulations in order to control the major crimes such as murder, bribery, embezzlement and robbery. These types of crimes put their impact on the safety and health of human beings (Wilks, Stephen and Moore, 2013). Further, criminal cases are handled by the judge of Magistrates court.
- Civil law: It includes the rules and regulations related to handle non-criminal cases. According to this law, one party can get the help of court in order to claim damages for their personal and private loss (Larson, 2014). The judge of county court is responsible for hearing these types of cases.
Further, these two types of laws help the court to take their decisions in order to provide the justice to innocent party. In United Kingdom, there are several courts which are responsible for hearing the cases along with taking decisions according to the situations. These courts are:
- Supreme Court
- Magistrates court
- high court
- Crown court
- Court of Appeal
- County court
Furthermore, the court enforces laws in a fair manner in order to resolve the disputes. In court, the main judge is responsible for taking the decisions after considering the evidence and proof (Bartlett and Rhode, 2006). With this, judges are free to adopt the sources of law in order to provide legal decision. These sources of laws are EU law, legislation and previous case law.
In accordance to legal framework, there are following laws and legislation that need to be followed by the management of organizations that are operating in travel and tourism sector. In this industry, businesses takes place in between two or more countries so that involvement of laws is necessary to ensure the welfare of tourists, visitors, nation and society (Larson, 2014). Legal framework includes several legislations such as heath and safety act, human right act, data protection act, occupier’s liability act, employment protection act and anti-discrimination act.
However, as per the regulatory framework, there are so many regulatory bodies in United Kingdom which are responsible for ensuring the level of safety and security in tourism and travel sector along with monitoring the performance of organization working in this industry. Description of the roles of these bodies are as follows:
- Health and safety commission: It is one of the leading professional bodies in UK which works on the principles of health and safety act (Wilks, Stephen and Moore, 2013). This commission is responsible for monitoring the performance of organizations in order to ensure the health and safety of customers and human resources in travel and tourism sector.
- Strategic Rail Authority: It is a professional body in UK that works under the transport act 2000 and focuses on providing proper guidance to railway industry. Along with this, it is focused on enhancing the level of railway services in order attract number of tourists.
- Air Transport Association: Main aim this asocial is to monitor the business practices of airlines operating in UK in order to enhance the level of air services and reducing its impact on the environment as well as society (Colgan and et. al., 2007).
- Association of British Travel Agents: Main purpose of this association is to increase the level of standards in travel industry by rendering proper guidance on the issues of sustainability as well as health and safety.
- International Air Transport Association: It is an international association that supports to enhance the level of airline activities in over the world (Bartlett and Rhode, 2006). Along with this, it works is to set standards and making industry policies for the betterment of airline industry.
Discuss surface, sea and air transport law to the carriage of passengers within legal and regulatory framework
- Surface transport: The law related to surface transport are Road Act 1974 and Railway Act 1993. The road Act describes about the liability of driver and vehicle owner. With this, it includes the cases which are conducted by the drivers related to general, alcohol, police and accident offence (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2014). Further, the Road Act ensures that company is using the safe vehicle or not. On the other side, Railway Act ensures the safety of passengers in railways by maintaining the services that are provided by rail administration. This Railway Act is considered by Strategic Rail Authority that is the most important regulatory body in United Kingdom which maintains the safety in surface transport (Wilks, Stephen and Moore, 2013). Further, in surface transport, the regulatory bodies such as Health and Safety Commission and Association of British Travel Agents are responsible for avoiding the discrimination and for ensuring fair using of surface transport.
- Sea transport: The laws and regulation designed by the government of UK are related to sea transport in order to ensure the protection of sea animals, shipping and nature. In UK, Maritime and Coastguard is a regulatory body which is focused on providing environment friendly along with effective and safe maritime transport (Bartlett and Rhode, 2006). Further, International Maritime organization is also a professional body which is related to sea transport that is focused on maintaining the loss of sea animals, sea products and environment. With this, the government of UK influences travel organization to use the safe shipping system in order to maintain the safety of tourists and sea animals.
- Air transport: It includes the laws of government in order to maintain the safety of tourists in air along with providing them better services related to air connectivity. With this, it includes the rules and regulations related to criminal offence of hijack and terrorist attack. In United Kingdom, the regulatory bodies such as Air Travel Operators Licensing, Civil Aviation Authority and International Air Transport Association are responsible for providing better choices and services through Air transport along with ensuring the rights of tourist’s related safety and security (Siegel, 2006). Further, these types of organizations influence the travel company to use better vehicles and fuels in order to reduce air pollution along with maintaining the safety of atmosphere. Moreover, regulatory bodies help the organization to maintain fair competition in order to expand their business.
Evaluate the impact of health, security and safety legislation on travel and tourism sector
In travel and tourism sector, there are so many issues which put their impact on the safety and security of human beings. To overcome these issues, there are various laws and regulations that are designed by the UK government. These laws are as follows:
- Data Protection Act 1998
According to this law, the management of company is responsible for protecting the personal data of tourists, customers and employees. With this, it includes some professional principles in order to maintain the protection of information and data (Larson, 2014). With this, this law defines that the travel company is not liable to use personal data for any other purpose. In the case of illegal use of information and data, the injured party can take the help of court in order to claim damages. Furthermore, this act influences the travel agent to ensure the accuracy, fairness and efficiency of data that is collected by them.
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
According to the law of United Kingdom, this act is related to maintain the safety and security of human resources at workplace. This law describes the general duties and responsibilities of management, employees, managers, suppliers and workers related to reasonable care in order to ensure the safety at workplace (Health and safety Act at workplace, 2015). According to this law, it is the main liability of company to maintain relation with their employees along with understanding their need and problem in order to consider their rights. This law describes that human resources are eligible to claim damages in the situation where company is not able to provide satisfactory performance. Further, this law implies that it is essential for the business entity to provide equal opportunity to all employees (World Health Organization., 2010).
Moreover, health and safety act influences travel company to ensure the use of best quality of fuels, safe vehicles, effective accommodation, better food and providing correct information to tourists. With this, this law states that company needs to maintain the safety of their equipment and systems along with effectively handling of resources (Wilks, Stephen and Moore, 2013). Further, it is focused on providing right information to visitors related to tourist destination, accommodation, transportation, food and other services.
- Occupiers Liability Act 1957
This law describes the liability of occupiers related to safety and duty of care for visitors. According to this law, occupier is responsible for fulfilling their promises along with avoiding the chances of harm (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2014). In the present context, the occupier is the travel company which is responsible for identify the dangerous substances to maintain the security of tourists. Further, this law describes the duties of manager in order to provide safe environment to their staff members. Provision of this Act gives the power to occupies in order to restrict, modify, exclude and extend their duties related to visitors (Jensen, 2005).
Above describes Acts are the major laws which are focused on the safety of human being from the criminal offence.
Analyse the legislation of UK government related to equality
Legislation and laws related to equality are as follows:
- Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978
According to this law, it is essential for company to set their policies by considering the rights and needs of employees. This law describes the basic rights of employees related to working hours, salary, leaves, unpaid holiday pay and incentives (Colgan and et. al., 2007). Further, it includes the provision of notice period, probation period and promotion period. This Act is the main part of UK labour law which ensure the effectiveness of company's labour policy.
Sex discrimination Act
According to this law, it is necessary for company to avoid discrimination related to protected characteristics at the time of recruitment, training and disposal of premises. This law influences organization to provide equal opportunity to their all employees of any age and gender (Sex discrimination Act, 2015). If, there is any discrimination related to sex happens at workplace, then employees can take the help of court by considering this law of sex discrimination.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
This act is now replaced by the Equality Act 2010. According to this Act, company needs to avoid the chance of disability discrimination at workplace along with providing the equal opportunity to all candidates (Bartlett and Rhode, 2006). This law states that, it is an unlawful element to treat less favorably to disabled people by service providers. Further, this law is focused on arranging the reasonable adjustments in order to provide services to disabled people.
Race Discrimination Act 1976
This law describes to prevent the factors of discrimination in employment, public function, education and distribution of goods plus services. According to this law, business entity needs to avoid the factors of discrimination related to race, national origin, ethnic, culture, color and religion (Colgan and et. al., 2007). It is unlawful element to treat badly and differently to individuals on the basis of their color, religion and national origin. According to this law, to refuse someone to serve on the basis of race discrimination comes into the civil offense.
Human Rights Act 1998
According to this law, it is essential for public and private organizations to treat equally with their all employees and customers. This law describes about the basic rights of human being (Wilks, Stephen and Moore, 2013). According to this right, every human must be treated with respect, fairness and dignity. Further, it includes the procedure of avoiding the chance of discrimination related to young, old, rich and poor at the time of treating with anyone.
Explain contract legislation related to travel and tourism customers
Contract plays a very crucial role in business management which bounds the business activities in legal manner. Contact is the agreement between two parties surrounded by law which influences them to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities (Singh and et. al., 2010). In travel and tourism sector, it is very essential to follow the rules and regulation of government in order maintain business activities in legal and ethical manner. Further, it is also essential to adopt the concept of making contract in order to avoid the chance of loss and abuse. In this manner, the contract legislation related to tourism and travel customers are as follows:
Contracts for supply of goods
It includes the conditions and terms under which an organization will produce and supply products to another. This contract also includes the terms related to product quality, price, date of order, delivery date and service charges (Larson, 2014). This contract takes place between two companies in order to provide the delivery of products and services on time along with the quality defined at the time of making contract. According to this contract, one party can claim damages in the situation, if other party is not able to fulfill their promises or refuse to fulfill it.
Contracts for provision of services
This contract includes the services which are provided by the travel and tourism industry such as food, accommodation and transportation. According to this contract, it is essential for travel company to provide the right information to their customers related to their services (Singh and et. al., 2010). Further, it influences company to maintain their quality of services along with providing the better services to their customer defined at the time of purchasing. With this, it assists company to avoid the use of fake advertisement to misguide people.
Contracts related to package holidays
The holiday package is the combination of all services such as food, accommodation, and transportation which is organized by travel agents in order to gave the facility of traveling at new destination. According to this law, it is essential for travel company to include accommodation and transportation in their holiday package. Before making holiday package, company needs to ensure the issues of different countries related to the safety and security of individuals (Jensen, 2005). Further, holiday organizers must not offer any descriptive things to their customers which can create confusion and negative consequences. According to this law, travel agency also needs to provide additional information to their customers in their holiday package which are related to alcohol sailing, lost and fund, supply of goods and personal injury (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2014).
Explain consumer protection legislation related to travel and tourism customers
There are following legislation in UK government which provides the protection to customers at the time of traveling. These are as follows:
Trades Description Act 1968
According to this law, it is necessary for service providers and retailers to provide the right information to their customers. In travel industry, this information is related to holiday package, their price, transportation, accommodation and quality of services (Bartlett and Rhode, 2006). This law describes that, it is an unlawful process to provide the fake information to clients. Further, this law defines that all the equipment, systems, land and building used by the business must be legal.
Consumer Protection Act 1987
This law provides protection to consumers from the defective products and services.
According to this law, company will be liable to pay damages and remedies in the case of any defect in their products and services (Consumer protection Act, 2013). Further, this law influences firm to provide correct information to their consumers related to price. This law implies that providing misleading indication of price is a criminal offense.
Moreover, consumer protect act provides the power to government in order to regulate the security and safety of consumer product along with taking the major decisions in the case of defective products (Siegel, 2006).
Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992
According to this law, it is the main liability of holiday organizers to provide right information in their brochure. It is essential for them to include the whole information of holiday package in their contact. This information are related to hotel, restaurant, tourist destination, prices, extra service charges, quality of services and safety precautions (Larson, 2014). According to this law, there must be a written contract in between the customer and travel agents along with the copy of contract must be given to customers. Further, it is a criminal offense which is related to include the descriptive matters in holiday package which leads to misunderstanding and confusion.
Moreover, the brochure of holiday package should be prepared in systematic and accurate manner in order to easily understand the customers. With this, it is also necessary for travel agent to adopt the legal methods related to passport and visa of customers (Wilks, Stephen and Moore, 2013).
These are the legislation and laws of government which provides the fully protection to consumers at the time of traveling from one city to another or one country to another. In travel industry, it is essential for travel agents and holiday organizer's to fulfill their general duties and responsibilities related to the safety of individuals, nation and society (Ferrell and Fraedrich, 2014). Further, it is also necessary to adopt the concept of equality in order to providing equal services to all along with avoiding the chance of discrimination and conflict. Further, in travel industry, the safety of consumers in depend upon the quality of food, effective accommodation and safe transportation.
Analyse ethical dilemmas faced by the travel and tourism sector
The travel and tourism industry is one of the growing industry of the world. It is important for every small, medium and large businesses in the industry needs to follow ethical codes and dilemmas (Weeden and Boluk, 2014). Thus, it is also essential for Marriott hotel to ensure that the met the ethical dilemma. Some of the dilemma encountered by industries in travel and tourism industry are mentioned below as:
Ethical dilemma of country’s culture
At present every business that operates in travel and tourism industry lays efforts to promotes culture and tradition of its country. The culture differs from country to country. Thus , it can be said that it is the ethical duty and responsibilities of businesses to deliver and reflects its culture and tradition in a positive manner (Yaman and Gurel, 2006). Further they should represent their culture by promoting all its special characteristic and needs to ensure that a good image of country is created in mind of guest coming from other countries.
Guest demand for adventurous tour
Day by day the demand of guest regarding adventurous tours are increasing and it has now become problematic for some hotels and travel agents to provide the same (Lansing and De Vries, 2007). Further they needs to take of safety and health of their guest while delivering adventurous tours. The places where these adventurous tours are organize are not only unsafe but they also have some threats regarding attack by other wild animals. Thus, businesses faces dilemma regarding safety of guest and their meeting their expectation. In addition to this, one of the ways by which this dilemma can be eliminated is by making all terms and conditions clear with guest regarding the consequences of adventurous tours and the extent of liability of businesses (Jackson and Barber, 2015).
The main reason for destruction of businesses in tourism sector is the lack of credibility. Many times the guest are not served by the things which were promise to deliver. In such cases most of the businesses forgets about the value of honesty and do not admit regarding the problem (Jackson, and Barber, 2015). In such cases it is a ethical dilemma for organization to admit the problem and try to resolve it as soon as possible. It will create a sense of trust among clients and will also improve the brand image of the business operating in travel and tourism industry. It is an important dilemma for organization to be honest to their clients in every aspects.
Overlap between ethics and laws
Mostly businesses that operates in travel and tourism and not clear with the difference between ethics and laws. Further it has been observed that mostly the legal regulations overlaps business ethics which creates problems for businesses (Weeden and Boluk, 2014). Thus organization operating in travel and tourism needs to enhance their knowledge regarding law and obligations prevailing in the country. By extracting out some difference between ethics and law businesses will be in a situation to identify and perform activities in both legal and ethical manner.
Corporate social responsibility of Marriott hotel
Marriott is a big brand in travel and tourism sector of the world and thus it is very essential for the organization to accomplish its Corporate social responsibility (Holcomb, Upchurch and Okumus, 2007). It creates good reputation among the guest when organizations perform its responsibilities towards society. Marriott aims at carrying out business with responsibility by providing an environment of adequate growth and opportunities to its employees and staff. Further it has created some policies, set of rules and regulation which every individual working in hotel needs to perform and accomplish. These rules are related to employment, protecting human rights, its supply chain management and protection of environment under which it is operating (Bohdanowicz and Zientara, 2008). In addition to this, Marriott is committed towards its responsibility against society and it focuses on some of the key areas such as food and shelter, vitality of children, empowering diversity and proving a safe and healthy environment. Some of the major areas in which the hotel is currently laying emphasis includes feeding the hungry, alleviating poverty, providing refuge camps at the time of natural disaster (Jackson and Barber, 2015). In addition to this it arranges various kind of funding, sponsorship programs and charity for development of children and other people in the society.
Other than this, in order to protect environment Marriott has taken several key steps. It is the first major chain of hotels which has calculated its carbon footprint. Further it has also launched a innovative plan that supports different programs, conservation of water, energy encourages Afforestation. The chain of hotels has also implemented strong database systems which enables it to keep the track of each and every single activity and its impact on environment. It has also collaborated with its suppliers and other vendors in order to provided some eco friendly products that can create less harm to environment and will also helps in reducing the waste (Holcomb, Upchurch and Okumus, 2007). Energy saving bulbs, biodegradable laundry bags and key cards that can be recycled are some of the creative products which Marriott provide to its guests. In addition to this, it also helps hotel to meet its desired goal for sustainability development.
There are various trainings programs which are organized by the chain of Hotel which provides some aspects and significance of corporate values and ethics(Yaman and Gurel, 2006). Every employee is well communicated with their roles and responsibility as well as their duty towards environment protection and society. It has also developed as business guide which provides direction to its managers and employees on laws regarding unfair competition, commercial and political bribery and other aspects of businesses . In future Marriott is looking forward to develop green hotels which will mainly focus on providing a health environment to guest along with some Eco friendly products which will be delivered to its guest (Bohdanowicz and Zientara, 2008). Thus, it can be said that the chain of hotel till now has accomplished its corporate social responsibility in a very satisfactory manner.
From the above study, it can be concluded that it is essential for tour and travel company to maintain the safety and welfare of their customers. With this, it is necessary for service provider to adopt the concept of equity in order to minimize the chance of discrimination. Now days, company needs to follow the legislation and rules of government which is beneficial for them to operate their business in lawful manner. These legislation are related to safety of customers, equity related to opportunity, quality of goods, effective holiday package, better accommodation and food facility.
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