Covid-19 Booking Terms and Conditions Advice
How does this affect booking terms and conditions?
Tourism NI has provided guidance to help you design booking terms and conditions. Ensure that you have clear booking terms and conditions in place to protect you and your customers: https://tourismni.com/globalassets/accommodation-start-up-advice/guidance-for-developing-booking-tcs-for-tourist-accommodation-providers.pdf
‘Force majeure’ applies when it becomes impossible or difficult to deliver a contract due to events outside the affected party’s control. Force majeure clauses in contracts, or ‘frustration’ may be used as grounds for terminating a contract, but this is dependent on a number of factors. If you have the resources to do so, you may wish to contact your solicitor for advice specific to your visitors.
Can a visitor amend their reservation / event?
We recognise the increased uncertainty caused by Covid-19 (new coronavirus)
Booking amendments will depend on your booking terms and conditions and guidance can be found here: https://tourismni.com/globalassets/accommodation-start-up-advice/guidance-for-developing-booking-tcs-for-tourist-accommodation-providers.pdf
Whenever possible, you should do your best to help customers affected. This may mean that they will be more inclined to book with you in future. For example, organisations such as British Airways have waived their change fees for bookings made between 3rd March and 16th March.
To protect the health of its partners and guests in regard to Coronavirus, Booking.com has declared Force Majeure/Forced Circumstances. Details can be found at its partner hub here.
What about Insurance cover?
Check your insurance. Coronavirus (COVID-19) was registered as a ‘notifiable disease’ in the UK on 5th March. This will help companies seeking compensation through their insurance policies in the event of any cancellations they may have to make as a result of the spread of the virus. However standard business cover may not be enough and additional cover may be required. Please contact your insurer directly.
Tourism NI has provided guidance to help you design booking terms and conditions related to cancellations. Ensure that you have clear cancellation policy in place to protect you and your customers: https://tourismni.com/globalassets/accommodation-start-up-advice/guidance-for-developing-booking-tcs-for-tourist-accommodation-providers.pdf
Business Loss: you should assess the likelihood, impact, mitigation action and contingency planning for your business. What can you do to reduce cancellations, how do you give your customer confidence?
Business Closure: what happens if your business has to close temporarily due to a government directive or deep cleaning? Think about the likelihood, impact, mitigation and contingency planning for your business?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Tourism NI doing to help businesses?
Tourism NI is continuing to provide and monitor advice from a number of sources to keep you up-to-date.
Tourism NI are asking for your support to monitor the overall impact across Northern Ireland and would ask you to tell us about issues or cancellations that you are experiencing by completing this online form.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH LATEST GOVERNMENT ADVICE AND UPDATES
The UK Government has made available latest information for the public on the outbreak of Coronavirus, which you can find here.
Department of Health updates: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/coronavirus
UK Government advice on travelling from the UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
The information provided gives some guidance and assistance on Covid-19 (new coronavirus) for your tourism business. The guidance is not designed to be definitive but highlights areas that you should consider. Each business has its own requirements, depending on the type of business it is and the guests it attracts, therefore, if you require precise or detailed information on anything mentioned in this guidance, or on the legal implications for you in particular, you should seek professional legal advice.