Assumptions of the act for hoteliers and tourist guides. It is to be safer and free from abuse
The assumptions of the bill, which will eventually regulate the hotel industry as well as tour guides, were presented at the 10th Tourism Promotion Forum by Dominik Borek, director of the Department of Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism. Promotion-related topics were also touched upon. It has been explained which issues related to it should be regulated in the regulations and which have been included in the draft of assumptions. The Act will be provisionally titled “On types of tourist services”.
The amendment to the Act assumes keeping records of hotel services:
- The law on hotel facilities and campsites (camping sites) at the provincial level and
- Tourist accommodation facilities and camping/tent sites at municipality level
They are to be maintained within the Central List of Accommodation Facilities – an IT tool provided by the Ministry of Development and Technology.
It will have a broader scope of entities so that all municipality offices will keep lists of their hotel establishment registers in this IT tool. In this way it will be possible for consumers to have access in one place to information on the entire legal database of accommodation services in Poland” – explained Dominik Borek.
Every tourist accommodation facility where services are provided will be obliged to have rules and regulations, in particular a provision on ensuring the safety of minors (preventing sexual exploitation of children). The municipal council could determine, by resolution within its jurisdiction, the additional conditions that the housekeeping bylaw must contain.
New penalties for illegal use of the hotel name
It is also planned to introduce high administrative penalties for violation of the Act’s provisions. The main focus is on the use of proprietary designations for accommodation facilities (e.g. The motel, hotel, guesthouse) for marketing and advertising purposes, misleading the customer . In order to provide the industry with sufficient protection, high administrative penalties are to be introduced, which will be issued on the basis of administrative decisions.
The income from such a penalty will constitute own income of the municipality or the Marshal’s Office. It will depend on the level of this decision. The penalties are to be deterrent: in the amount of about 10 thousand. PLN for illegal use of the protected name and misleading the customer” – informed Dominik Borek.
The expected benefits are m.in.To standardize market practice in terms of nomenclature and legal protection; to standardize nomenclature with those used in other laws: Polish Classification of Activities (PKD), Central Statistical Office (GUS) terminology, Construction Law. The bill is also expected to increase the prestige of categorized facilities. This is to apply only to the four types of facilities that would be subject to categorisation (hotels, motels, guesthouses and campsites).
“It is also about giving an opportunity to limit blatant actions used by booking platforms. These will only be able to make available on their websites each facility included in the central list of accommodation facilities. Otherwise it will be subject to administrative penalties” – explained Dominik Borek.
The main objectives of the amendments are to strengthen consumer protection and to eliminate unfair market practices in the area of accommodation services.
Tourist guide – urban and off-road
No major changes are expected in the field of tourist guiding, apart from the fact that local government units are to define certain formal requirements for people who can perform this profession. It is proposed to introduce the possibility of checking the necessary knowledge and skills of city guides in local law regulations.
“The idea is that, just like in the cab industry, there should be a possibility to examine city or local tourist guides working in a given place” – said Dominik Borek.
The way of access to the profession of a mountain guide will change. It is assumed that the profession of “mountain guide” will be maintained as a regulated profession, due to the fact that it is a profession in the area of public health and safety.
- Mountain guide – sudecki, beskidzki and tatrzański
- High Mountain Guide – in ew. divided into two groups
The Ministry also envisages the creation of a new profession of international alpine guide and Tatra mountain guide.
The assumptions of the act and its draft are to regulate the issue of tourist promotion. There is also no need to create a law on the Polish Tourist Organisation from the beginning. It only needs to be amended.
These include updates to the tasks to be performed by LOTs and ROTs. Some members of the Expert Council acting under the authority of the minister responsible for tourism have already proposed changes in this regard.
“A residence fee is also expected to be introduced in the area. It would be assigned to the stay and would be charged from it. Next to be worked out is the issue of distribution of this fee. To what extent should it go to tourism organizations and to what extent to local government units? These topics are to be discussed with experts at the end of May” – added Dominik Borek.