Coronavirus and holiday parks: this is what you need to know!

What are your rights if your holiday booking is cancelled by the holiday park because of the coronavirus? Are you entitled to compensation if the holiday park facilities are closed? When can you cancel your booking free of charge? On this page, you can read everything you need to know about travelling 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 holiday park cannot work it out together. Our website offers information, tips and sample letters that will help you take the right steps.

Coronavirus and holiday parks: this is what you need to know! ECC Netherlands

Good to know

I do not want to go abroad, can I cancel the holiday park booking free of charge?

Of course, you can always cancel your booking, but as long as the holiday park 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. You are subject to the booking conditions and willingness of the holiday park 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 holiday park booking 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. The holiday park may also offer you a voucher, which you do not have to accept. If you do not use this voucher within 18 months, you will still be entitled to a refund. 

Your consumer rights in Europe 
Do you have a holiday park booking in another EU country, such as Germany, Italy or Spain, and would you like to cancel it (free of charge)? Then contact our legal specialists. Several countries have temporarily changed the rules. We will be happy to explain your consumer rights to you!

#cancellation-of-holiday-home

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

Of course, you can always cancel your booking, but as long as the holiday park 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 holiday home is still available, only you cannot get there due to an entry ban. You are subject to the booking conditions and willingness of the holiday park to rebook or cancel your 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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What am I entitled to if the holiday park cancels the booking?

If the holiday park cancels your booking, for example because of the coronavirus, you are entitled to a refund of your money. The holiday park may offer you a voucher, which you do not have to accept. The holiday park may also propose to change the booking dates. You do not have to agree to this. You will still be entitled to a refund.

#booking-cancellation-by-holiday-park

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Holiday park open, facilities closed. Am I entitled to a compensation?

Have you booked a holiday park with facilities such as a swimming pool, arcade or restaurant, which are closed due to the coronavirus? 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 holiday park, were you promised access to a water park or other facilities aimed at families with children and did you book this holiday park 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.
 

#Holiday-park-open-facilities-closed-compensation

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Do I have to accept a voucher if the booking was cancelled by the holiday park?

If your holiday park booking has been cancelled by the holiday park due to the coronavirus, the holiday park may offer you a voucher. The voucher is offered on a voluntary basis. You have the right to refuse this voucher. If this offer is refused, the holiday park 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 voucher?

If your booking is cancelled because of the coronavirus, the holiday park may offer you a 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 part of the voucher (the part you have not spent) must be paid out by the holiday park afterwards, 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 holiday park will be unable to perform the agreement.

Also check if the 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-terms

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What can I do if the holiday park refuses to refund my money?

If the holiday park 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 holiday park in writing, via the website or by e-mail. Please use the ECC sample letter ‘Booking cancelled by the holiday park due to coronavirus? Get your money back!’ This letter can be downloaded in Dutch and English. Free of charge! Give the company 4 weeks to respond to your complaint. 

Report it to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM)
Does the holiday park 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 holiday park operators that do not comply with the rules and are taking unfair advantage of the corona crisis. 

Complaint about a foreign company? Ask ECC for assistance!
Do you live in the Netherlands and do you have a conflict with a foreign holiday park 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 holiday park. 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 fees for starting this procedure. 

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What can I do if the holiday park wronfully withheld charges?

If the holiday park cancels your booking, for example because of the coronavirus, you are entitled to a refund of your money. The full travel sum. No administrative costs or mediation fees or any other costs may be withheld. 

Have you accepted a voucher? Then the voucher value must be equal to the amount you paid to the holiday park when booking your stay.

Wrongfully withheld charges, what now?
In this news article, you can read what you can do if the holiday park does not refund the full travel sum or wrongfully deducts costs from your voucher. This is not permitted! 

#vakantiepark-weigert-volledige-terugbetaling

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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 holiday park cannot resolve it together. The holiday park 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 holiday park
If you have a question or complaint about a holiday park, please contact the Legal Services CounterACM Consuwijzer or the ACM ConsuWijzer for legal assistance. 

#European-Consumer-centre

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