Travel Industry Attorney
The travel industry in this country and abroad is based on more than just escapism.
The industry is vibrant, dynamic, and offers its customers new and exciting experiences. It is also highly-competitive, presenting a wide-array of legal obstacles in the form of regulation, liability, contractual obligations, and other multifaceted challenges.
Our attorneys have a wide-ranging background in virtually every aspect of the travel industry. The Ment Law Group, PC is at the forefront to deliver all-inclusive legal services to our clients, including tour operators, travel agents, airlines, cruise companies, hotels, travel associations, rental companies, rail and coach operators, and event organizers. Call our travel industry lawyers today at 866-MENT-LAW or submit a request online for information about how we can help you.
Legal Representation Through Complex Situations
Although people seek companies in the tourism industry to provide them with leisure experiences, the businesses in this field often face difficult legal situations. You must maintain a favorable disposition and express that the customer is always right. However, in reality, problems occur that require a quick response and efficient defense.
The Ment Law Group, PC has helped clients that are building a tourism enterprise from the ground up as well as established companies seeking corporate legal assistance. We can help you develop operational policies and legal documents, submit compliance reports, and guide you through any emergent situation that might occur.
Common Legal Questions & Answers in the Tourism Industry
Legal issues are common in the tourism industry. Whether you need someone to guide your ongoing corporate strategy or if you have immediate questions that need answers, we can help. Some of the most common question that we encounter include:
Which laws apply to my travel business?
There are many state, federal, and international laws that address the tourism industry. In many situations, those regulations protect consumers instead of the businesses involved in providing tourist services. Many rules are made by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); however, every country has an agency that addresses tourism. If you are in a specialized field, such as ecotourism, volunteer tourism, or student travel, you may have to comply with laws made by other government agencies as well.
Do I have to register to sell travel?
Yes, there are several states that require registration if you plan to sell to residents of those states. It does not matter if the tour is going to one of the states that require registration – the test is whether the guest is from one of those states.
What Is the Biggest Risk for a Tour Operator?
A number of legal issues face tour operators. The number one area of concern is how the vendors and suppliers are selected. In other words, the vetting or due diligence will become the main issue in litigation arising out of an injury to a guest.
What kind of release or waiver should I use and are they enforceable?
As a business in the tourism industry, you need to have releases and waivers that cover your operation in case of emergency situations. In general, releases and waivers that are tailored to the specific activity and risk are enforceable. There are many exceptions, so always remember to check local laws for any state-specific language that may be needed. Also, particular attention must be paid to tours that are more adventuresome – certain warnings and language should be in the document.
How Much Insurance Should a Tour Operator Have?
All tour operators should have insurance coverage based on the type of worst-case scenario claim that could happen. You should consider the following:
- How many guests are traveling at the time?
- What are the areas of most concern?
- How much coverage are the vendors required to have?
- Do you have forum selection clause to better estimate the nature and extent of possible claims?
Legal Issues in the Tourism Industry
Our travel attorneys have extensive experience in the tourism industry. Attorney Jeffrey Ment is intimately familiar with travel law. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration-marketing. In addition, he has worked in the travel industry in various capacities, including as a travel agent, a tour guide, and in the sales and marketing departments for two airlines. Attorney Misty Percifield also has a background in tourism as a hotel manager. With their hands-on experience, Jeff and Misty understand your focus and can help you achieve your goals.
William C. Anderson
Regulation and Compliance
Companies in the travel industry must adhere to an array of regulations established in federal, state, and international laws. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) imposes regulations relating to advertising and other components of travel. Seller of travel laws address those who offer travel services, and organizations such as the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) handle transactions involving specific industries within the field of tourism. When dealing with these agencies, it’s best to seek legal assistance from a travel lawyer who understands common regulation and compliance issues and who has worked with these regulators.
Policies and Contracts
The travel industry is built on contracts, from agreements with vendors to guest terms and conditions. Nearly everyone involved in travel encounters a contract as some point in the chain of service. Similarly, policies are embedded in all aspects of the field. Contracts and policies establish provision of service as well liability for incidents. When developing your documents, you should consult with a legal advisor who is familiar with travel and can guide you to form effective instruments.
In the travel industry, you cannot control all variables. Sometimes an emergency situation occurs. However, you can be prepared with proper risk assessment and exigency training. The Ment Law Group, PC can help you develop a crisis management plan and policies that address various situations that your employees may face. We can also help you effectively handle a situation after it arises. It’s important to act quickly and positively represent your organization in a crisis situation. We offer around the clock support for our clients.
Dispute Resolution and Litigation
Disagreements involving services, contracts, employment, customers, and more are common in the business world. Effective dispute resolution requires skilled legal assistance to negotiate, bargain, and achieve agreements that benefit everyone involved. We routinely represent travel companies in litigation and arbitration proceedings relating to claims of serious injury and death that have occurred around the world, including Africa, Antarctica, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the United States. We can help you avoid liability and maintain a positive reputation as you resolve disagreements.
Travel is one of the world’s fastest growing industries, with more than 6 million jobs in the United States as of 2016. Employment issues arise frequently, often involving complex labor policies, government regulations, and international laws. With personal experience working in several different tourism fields, our travel attorneys can help you manage any human resource challenge that arises.