July 1, 2009: MARKEY INTRODUCES INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS BILL OF RIGHTS ACT

H.R.3099 designed to protect Americans traveling abroad through better disclosure of health, safety conditions at overseas destinations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over consumer protection issues, today announced the introduction of H.R. 3099, the International Travelers Bill of Rights Act.  The new legislation is intended to help protect Americans traveling abroad by requiring websites that market international travel services to provide consumers with additional information regarding health and safety conditions at destinations featured on the sites.

 

This bill will ensure that international travelers pack the most important item of all: information about the health and safety of their destination,” said Markey. “Before consumers book their trip abroad, it is important to understand not just the rewards of a foreign visit, but also the possible risks associated with health and safety.”

  “Travelers have a right to be provided with the best and most current information about health and safety conditions at their international destinations so that they can make smart, informed decisions. The International Travelers Bill of Rights Act is intended to ensure that Americans are provided with the most current health and safety information before they book an international trip online. If such information is not available to consumers on the website, the legislation requires a clear, conspicuous notice so the consumer knows that this health and safety information has not been provided - the absence of the information can then be factored into the decision of whether to book the trip.”

  H.R. 3099 requires travel services websites to provide their customers with health- and safety-related information including:

 -State Department travel warnings and travel alerts
-Whether the destination employs a physician or a nurse
-Whether the destination has an automated external defibrillator and employs personnel trained in its use
-Whether the destination employs personnel trained in CPR
-Whether the destination employs a lifeguard, if there are swimming areas