Association of European Travel and Tourism Agencies

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♦ Objectives

Competition

Ensure fair competition

The European market of travel and tourism agencies counts thousands of actors coming from Europe and other parts of the world. And, although, the competition in such a fragmented market is generally considered to be fair there are cases when unfair practices are utilised by sector participants. This unfortunately sometimes happens at local market levels. Another source of unfair competitive practices is discriminatory market regulation, which we also have to deal with from time to time.

The members of Association of European Travel and Tourism Agencies (AETTA) voluntarily committed themselves to not resort to unfair competition practices and abide at all times by the competition directives set by the European Commission and national legislations.

AETTA stands for the interests of its members via its research group Competition Task Force. Whenever, a member of AETTA is faced with unfair competition practices the Competition Task Force examines the situation and tries to resolve the issue directly with the offending party. If necessary, AETTA directs the case to the relevant institution charged with looking after the competition issues or directly to the European Commission.

AETTA's Competition Task Force also carefully examines cases when local or even national regulations distort the market. This particularly concerns the situations where the local governments try to regulate the market by means of licensing requirements. We find that in many cases such requirements distort or even prevent free competition by restricting certain segments of the travel and tourism market to particular market actors. This bad practice discriminates other legitimate participants of the market and results in poorer service and higher prices for the end customer. AETTA is committed to take action when the legitimate rights of its members are violated.

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