Coronavirus and camping trips: this is what you need to know!

What are the rules for camping abroad? Are you entitled to compensation if the camp site facilities are closed? What should you pay attention to when accepting a recreational voucher? What can you do if the camp site operator refuses to refund your money? On this page, you can read everything you need to know about camping in times of corona.

How we can help you

The European Consumer Centre informs you about your consumer rights in the EU, provides free legal advice in cross-border disputes, and mediates if you and the camp site operator cannot work it out together. Our website offers information, tips and sample letters that will help you take the right steps.

Coronavirus and camping trips: this is what you need to know! ECC Netherlands

Good to know

I do not want to go abroad this summer, can I cancel the camping booking free of charge?

As long as the camp site is open and the provider is still able to provide the agreed service, you are in principle not entitled to cancel your booking free of charge. You are subject to the booking conditions and willingness of the camp site operator to rebook or cancel the booking free of charge. 

Adjusted rules in France
A temporary emergency measure has been introduced in France. Do you have a booking for a camping space between 1 March 2020 and 15 September 2020, and do you want to cancel it because of the coronavirus? Then cancellation is free of charge. You are entitled to a refund. Alternatively, the camp site operator may also offer you a recreational voucher. If you do not use this voucher within 18 months, you will still be entitled to a refund. 

Your consumer rights in Europe 
Have you booked a camping space abroad, such as Germany, Italy or Spain, and would you like to cancel it (free of charge)? Then contact our legal specialists via the contact form. Several countries have temporarily changed the rules. We will be happy to explain your consumer rights to you!
 

#cancellation-of-camp-booking

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Can I cancel my camping booking (free of charge) in the event of an entry ban?

Of course, you can always cancel your booking, but as long as the camp site is open and the operator is still able to provide the agreed service, you are in principle not entitled to cancel your booking free of charge. Your camping space is still available, only you cannot get there due to an entry ban. You are subject to the booking conditions and willingness of the camp site operator to rebook or cancel the booking free of charge.    

Cancellation insurance
Insurers no longer see the cancellation of a holiday due to the coronavirus as a sudden event. Recovering money through your cancellation insurance is excluded with most insurers. 
 

#entry-ban

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Will I get my money back if the camp site booking is cancelled by the camp site operator?

If the camp site operator cancels your booking, you are entitled to a refund of your money. The camp site operator may offer you a recreational voucher, which you do not have to accept. The camp site operator may also propose to move the booking dates. You do not have to agree to this. You will still be entitled to a refund.

#cancellation-by-camp-site-operator-refund?

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Camp site open, facilities closed. Am I entitled to a refund?

Have you booked a camping space on a camp site with facilities such as a swimming pool, arcade or restaurant, which are closed because of the corona virus? In that case, you are entitled to a refund of part of the travel sum you paid. You cannot use the facilities even though you have paid for them. 

Termination of booking agreement 
When you booked the camping space, were you promised access to a water park or other facilities aimed at families with children and did you book this camp site precisely because of those facilities? Can you prove it? Then you can dissolve the booking agreement. This cancels the booking and entitles you to a refund of your money. 

Please note that if it was indicated when booking that the facilities are closed, you are not entitled to a free cancellation and refund of your money.

#Camp-site-open-facilities-closed-refund?

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Do I have to accept a voucher if a camping trip is cancelled by the camp site operator?

In the event of a cancellation due to the coronavirus, a camp site operator may offer you a recreational voucher. You have the right to refuse this voucher. If this offer is refused, the camp site operator will have to refund you the travel sum. The voucher should not be forced on you.

#corona-voucher

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What should I pay attention to when accepting a recreational

If your camping trip is cancelled because of the coronavirus, the camp site operator may offer you a recreational voucher. You may refuse this voucher. Before you choose to accept a voucher, check if the voucher complies with the basic principles of the voucher scheme of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets ACM.

  • Accepting a voucher is a choice, it should not be imposed on you. The starting point remains that you are entitled to a refund when you cancel your booking. 
  • The voucher must be a full replacement. This means that the voucher value is equal to the original travel sum including booking fees and administrative costs, etc. 
  • Vouchers must have a reasonable validity period, e.g. 12 months. 
  • The remaining amount of the voucher (the part you have not spent) must be paid out afterwards by the camp site operator within a reasonable period of time. 
  • Have you made a down payment? Then you do not have to pay the remaining amount if you know that the holiday cannot go ahead or if the camp site operator will be unable to perform the agreement.

Also check if the recreational voucher is covered by a guarantee fund or if another guarantee scheme applies, so you will not be left empty-handed in the event of bankruptcy.
 

#corona-voucher-conditions

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What can I do if the camp site operator refuses to refund my money?

If a camp site operator refuses to refund your money in the event of cancellation of your booking, you do not need to leave it at that. Let us explain what you can do!

Download sample letter
Make your complaint known to the camp site operator in writing, via the website or by email. You can use the ECC sample letter ‘Does the camping provider cancel your booking? Get your money back!’ This letter can be downloaded in Dutch and English. Free of charge! 

Report it to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets ACM
Does the camp site operator fail to respond within the time limit you set or is your request for a refund rejected? Report it to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets! This regulator can take strict action against camp site operators that do not comply with the rules and are taking unfair advantage of the corona crisis. 

Complaint about a foreign camp site operator? Ask ECC for assistance!
Do you live in the Netherlands and do you have a conflict with a foreign camp site operator established in another EU Member State, Norway, Iceland or the United Kingdom, which you cannot resolve together? Ask our legal specialists for assistance. We mediate between you and the camp site operator. Free of charge! 

Take it to court
If ECC’s mediation is unsuccessful, you can start a small claims procedure and submit your complaint to the court. Our legal specialists can inform you about the legal options and costs for starting this procedure.
 

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Do I get my money back if the camp site operator goes bankrupt?

If you have booked a camping trip and the camp site operator goes bankrupt, there is a good chance that you will be left empty-handed. You are the last in line to get any money back. If your booking has been cancelled by the camp site operator and you have accepted a recreational voucher, your voucher may no longer be worth anything. Therefore, check the voucher conditions before you accept it.

#bankruptcy-camp-site-operator

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About the ECC

How can the European Consumer Centre help me?

The European Consumer Centre will help you find a solution for your complaint if you and the foreign camp site operator cannot resolve it together. The camping must be established in another EU country, Norway, Iceland or the United Kingdom. Contact our legal specialists via the online form. Our legal aid is free. 

Question/complaint about a Dutch camping
If you have a question or complaint about a Dutch camping, please contact the Legal Services CounterACM Consuwijzer or the ACM ConsuWijzer for legal assistance. 
 

#European-Consumer-Centre

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