1. Scope of application
These General Terms and Conditions govern the legal relationship between the tour operator Ecotour Barahona (hereinafter referred to as “TO”) and the tour participants as well as third parties who book tours for tour participants or act as travel agents (hereinafter referred to as “customer(s)”) for all services provided by TO, in particular the organization of excursions (hereinafter referred to as “tour(s)”) and their guiding, insofar as the tour guiding is not provided by third-party providers. For all activities of third party providers TO acts only as an intermediary; however, these activities are carried out in the name and under the conditions of the third party providers. These GTC are an integral part of each individual contract, regardless of the medium on which the contract is concluded.
2 Conclusion of contract / booking
Bookings can be made through various sales channels (Internet, travel agency, hotel, tourist information, etc.) by telephone, e-mail, fax or in person. A booking must also be made for free participation. Otherwise TO can exclude the participant and in case of minors also his/her accompanying person (see section 7) from the tour. When booking, the customer must provide TO with his credit card details. If bookings are made for customers by third parties (including bookings made by customers for other customers), these third parties are liable both for the payment of the booked service and for the customer’s agreement to these GTC. The contract between the customer or the booking third party and the TO comes into effect with the unconditional acceptance of the booking by the TO. With the booking, the customer as well as third parties making the booking accept these GTC as binding. TO does not accept non-binding reservations.
3. Prices and terms of payment
The tour price per person (hereinafter referred to as “tour price”) is the price list in US dollars. All prices are inclusive of value added tax. Prices are subject to change in accordance with clause 6. The tour price is due at the time of booking.
4. Cancellations / rebookings by the customer
The TO does not offer cancellation insurance.
Cancellations and rebookings (i.e. any change of the tour, the number of customers or the tour date) must be made in writing (also by fax or e-mail) and are legally binding upon confirmation by the TO. For each change of booking a handling fee of US$ 50 will be charged in addition to the additional costs of the tour. In case of cancellation the following fees apply:
Up to 30 days before tour start: handling fee of US$ 50
30 to 10 days before tour start: 30% of the cancellation fee
09 to 04 days before tour start: 50% of the cancellation amount
03 to 0 days before tour start: 100% of the total amount of the originally booked tour
The TO will inform about deviating cancellation conditions in the booking confirmation. Acceptance of changes to private tours previously confirmed by TO is at TO’s sole discretion.
All reservations made between 05/03/20 and 04/30/20 for trips up to and including 10/31/20 are not subject to any cancellation fee, whenever the cancellation is made at least 14 days prior to the start of the trip. If not cancelled within this period, the regular cancellation fee and conditions before 05.03.20 will apply.
5. Cancellation by TO
It is in TO’s sole discretion to cancel a tour that is endangered, significantly hindered or made impossible by force majeure, weather danger, official measures, political unrest, strikes, demonstrations, difficult traffic conditions, closed roads or similar unforeseeable events. The same applies if the minimum number of participants is not reached, which may vary from tour to tour. The already paid tour price will be refunded, further claims for damages are excluded.
6. Changes of the tour prices or services
TO reserves the right to change the tour price according to the price list or the agreed tour price in case of extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances are in particular:
– Changes in the tariffs of third-party providers, e.g. transportation companies – Newly introduced or increased taxes, fees or charges.
Changes in travel prices in the event of extraordinary circumstances will be communicated no later than 3 weeks before the start of the trip. If the difference between the new and the original tour price exceeds 10%, the customer is entitled to either withdraw from the contract within 5 days after notification of the change in tour prices against a full refund of any tour price already paid, or to book an alternative tour from TO in the value of the originally booked tour without a rebooking fee. Any further compensation for damages is excluded.
7. Conditions of participation
Tours are offered under the terms and conditions published by TO (e.g. regarding language, tour guide, etc.). Lead Tour participants must identify themselves at check-in prior to the start of the tour by presenting their ID or passport in accordance with the booking; otherwise TO may exclude both the Lead Tour participants and the customers for whom the booking was made from the tour, without refunding the purchase price.
For international tours, all customers must bring their identification or passport. Underage clients must be accompanied by a person authorized to represent them. The buses are not equipped with a ramp. Disabled customers who require assistance getting on and off the bus are asked to make their own arrangements. Pets are not allowed, with the exception of companion dogs for the disabled.
The customer agrees to inform TO of any health problems. Adequate health and accident insurance is the responsibility of the customer (including additional insurance against sports accidents for tours involving sports activities).
Participation in a tour under the influence of drugs, medication and/or excessive alcohol is not permitted.
The customer is obliged to strictly comply with these GTC, the participation conditions of third party suppliers, the instructions of the TO, third party suppliers, support personnel as well as external tour guides and rescue personnel. In addition, the customer is obliged to wear seat belts and to use child seats if necessary. TO reserves the right to exclude a customer from the tour with immediate effect in case of health problems, non-compliance with the conditions of participation or a violation of these GTC or instructions. If a minor customer is excluded, the accompanying person is also excluded from the tour. If the exclusion occurs before the start of the tour, the cancellation conditions apply accordingly. If the exclusion occurs during a tour, the customer has no right to a refund of the tour price. In case of exclusion, all claims for damages against TO are excluded.
If the customer is not present in time at the departure or meeting point for the start or during the tour, TO reserves the right to exclude the customer from the tour after a waiting time of 5 minutes for a half-day tour or 10 minutes for a day tour and to start the tour without the customer. In this case, the customer is not entitled to a refund of the tour price nor can the customer claim damages. Furthermore, the customer has to bear the additional costs (e.g. return transport to the starting point) himself.
8.1 Limitation of the TO’s liability
The customer carries out all activities at his own risk. The liability of the TO is limited to the tour price as well as to direct damages caused by the TO intentionally or by gross negligence. The liability of the TO for slight negligence, the support of persons as well as consequential damages and loss of profit is excluded. The TO assumes no liability in case of non-fulfillment of contractual obligations resulting from omissions or breaches of contract by the customer (especially due to violation of the conditions of participation in paragraph 7).
In case of cancellation of a tour, the TO is only liable for the refund of the tour price if no other tour is offered. The TO assumes no liability for the disappearance of personal belongings, cash, valuables, luggage, photographic equipment, etc., as well as for loss, theft, damage or misuse of checks and credit cards.
8.2 Disclaimer for third-party offers and in case of force majeure
TO assumes no liability for third-party offers and services and no liability for damages due to circumstances beyond TO’s control, such as force majeure, natural events, catastrophes, program changes due to non-compliance with the schedules of rail, bus or shipping companies or other third-party providers, etc. The customer agrees to claim any damages directly from the third party provider. In this case, TO acts only as a communication facilitator.
8.3 Liability of the Customer
All activities for which TO acts as an intermediary and which are carried out by third party providers or are organized and/or carried out by customers themselves are at the customer’s own risk. TO is not liable for the consequences of any accident. TO expects a high degree of personal responsibility from each customer. Customers shall only participate in activities that are compatible with their physical condition, in particular their health and physical fitness. In particular, the customer is responsible for appropriate equipment (clothing, footwear, sun protection, etc.).
8.4 Caribbean factor
The Caribbean, particularly the Dominican Republic, is a developed tourist area, but is not comparable to the United States in terms of standards. The “Caribbean flair” valued by tourists can lead to inconsistencies, as tourists have misconceptions about the quality and availability of tourism services. TO therefore specifically points out that the standard of hotels, restaurants, transportation, public facilities, etc. is not up to American standards. “Caribbean punctuality” does not correspond to American punctuality. The tour operator shall take these circumstances into account in its travel planning, tenders, travel information, etc.
9. Time limit for the assertion of claims
Claims of the customer against the contractor for non-performance or performance contrary to the contract must be made in writing within 30 days after the contractually agreed travel date, with a detailed explanation of the claims. A complaint to the tour guide is not sufficient. Complaints received by TO after this deadline cannot be accepted, unless the customer proves that he was prevented from meeting this deadline through no fault of his own.
The Customer agrees that his/her data, in particular name, address, telephone number, date of birth, nationality, gender and credit card details, may be collected by TO for the purpose of carrying out certain tours in accordance with the contract. This data may be passed on to third party suppliers.
11. changes of these terms and conditions
TO may change these GTCs at any time. These changes are legally binding by notification to the customer or publication on www.ecotourbarahona.com.
Should one of the provisions of these GTCs be or become invalid, this shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions. In the event that a provision is invalid, it shall be replaced by an enforceable provision that comes as close as possible to the meaning and purpose of the invalid provision. The same procedure shall apply if a loophole is found in these GTC.
13 Applicable law and place of jurisdiction
The legal relationship between the Customer and TO shall be governed by Swiss law (excluding the conflict of laws rules). For legal actions against TO, the exclusive jurisdiction of the ordinary courts at the registered office of TO is agreed.