From Status to Contract

From Status to Contract to Status Again: The Tourist’s Rights

From ancient times, the rights of travellers (all tourism includes travel but not all travel includes tourism) depended on their status as such and the rights afforded them came out of the concept of public trust in the Common Law countries and in the strict liability protections in Roman Law applied to nautae, caupones and stabularii. In the nineteenth century, much was left to freedom of contract, thence increasingly the courts and legislators addressed the issue of inequality of bargaining power and the concept of consumer protection developed. Now, we are moving back to status , with the protection of the tourist as ‘consumer’ and ‘passenger’ as well as ‘traveller’ and ‘guest’.

John Downes

International Consultant

President Emeritus of IFTTA