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Decree Law No. 17/2018

Publication: Republic Diary No. 48/2018, Series I of 2018-03-08
  • Issuer: Economy
  • Diploma Type: Decree Law
  • Number: 17/2018
  • Pages: 1215 - 1234

Summary in plain english

What is it?

This decree-law introduces into Portuguese law the EU Directive 2015/2302 on package travel and linked travel arrangements, and it establishes rules for travel and tourism agencies.

What will change? The concept of travellers will be introduced

A traveller is any person making a contract for package travel or linked travel arrangements as a consumer or professional (provided there is no general agreement with the organization for business trips).

The difference between package travel and linked travel arrangements will be clarified

Package travel is a combination of at least two types of travel services for the same trip or holiday. These services combined make up a package and are purchased at a single point for an overall price. Package travel can be provided by one or more agencies, provided they have linked booking processes.

Linked travel arrangements are a combination of at least two types of travel services contracted for the same trip or holiday, which do not make up a package and are purchased from different companies through the same operator.

The obligation to properly inform customers before selling travel services will be reinforced

The travellers’ right to receive all the information they need to decide which travel services they will buy will be reinforced.

Travel agencies must always provide information that:

  • is transmitted in a clear, understandable and visible manner
  • is readable, if it is given in writing
  • describes the essential characteristics of the trip.
Rules for changes to travel contracts will be established

There will be new rules that define when there can be changes to a contract that has already made between a travel agency and a traveller.

There will be new rules for non-fulfilment of travel contracts

More detailed rules will be created for cases when it is not possible to fulfil the travel contract as originally planned. There will be rules for:

  • companies providing linked travel arrangements
  • travel agencies.
The responsibility of travel agencies in processing the contract will be clarified

The travel agencies' responsibility in processing travel contracts will be clearer.

The conditions under which a travel contract can be cancelled will be extended

The conditions under which both agencies and travellers can withdraw from a contract before the trip begins will be redefined.

If a contract is cancelled due to unavoidable and exceptional circumstances at the place of destination (for example, a major earthquake), the travellers will be entitled to a refund of everything they have paid.

The rules for the Travel and Tourism Guarantee Fund will change

The rules for the Travel and Tourism Guarantee Fund will be adapted to the new travellers’ guarantees and the new services as follows:

  • the amounts ​​of additional contributions to the fund will change
  • more levels will be created to match the contribution to the size of the agency and the amount of services it sells.
The obligations for those providing linked travel arrangements will be defined

These obligations are related to:

  • information
  • liability and protection in case of bankruptcy.
Some rules on travel agencies will be updated and clarified

This directive will be used to update and clarify some of the existing rules on access to the activity and operation of travel agencies and tourism.

What are its benefits?

This decree-law is intended to:

  • protect the rights of consumers purchasing package travel or linked travel arrangements
  • contribute to the smooth functioning of the European market
  • harmonise the laws on package travel for the various countries of the European Union.
When does it come into effect?

This decree-law comes into effect on 1 July 2018.

Original Version


  • Legal translator is the translation of texts within the field of law


Legislative consolidation integrates the various amendments and rectifications made into an original legal diploma in order to make its consultation more accessible to the citizen.