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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 489         FILED ON: 1/18/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 107

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

James J. Dwyer

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act establishing the Massachusetts travelers bill of rights.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Michael D. Brady

9th Plymouth

Nick Collins

4th Suffolk

Thomas P. Kennedy

 


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 489        FILED ON: 1/18/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 107

By Mr. Dwyer of Woburn, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 107) of James J. Dwyer and others establishing a travelers bill of rights.  Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

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An Act establishing the Massachusetts travelers bill of rights.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Chapter 93 of the Generals Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 114 the following new section:-

              Section 115. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-

              “International travel service,” a service that a consumer can use to reserve lodging at an overseas vacation destination.

              “Office,” the office of consumer affairs and business regulation

              “Overseas vacation destination”, a resort, hotel, retreat, hostel, or any other similar lodging outside the United States.

              “Site Operator,” an individual or entity that operates a web site that provides access to international travel services including an overseas vacation destination or a third party that operates a web site that offers international travel services.

              “United States” each of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

              (b) A site operator, in a manner in compliance with regulations issued by the office of consumer affairs and business regulations, shall provide information on its web site to consumers in a clear and conspicuous manner regarding the potential health and safety risks associated with overseas vacation destinations marketed on its web site, if any, including the following:

              (1) Information compiled by the Department of State, including Department of State country-specific travel warnings and alerts;

              (2) Information regarding the onsite health and safety services that are available to consumers at each overseas vacation destination, including whether the destination:--

              (i) employs or contracts with a physician or nurse on the premises to provide medical treatment for guests;

              (ii) employs or contracts with personnel, other than a physician, nurse, or lifeguard, on the premises who are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation;

              (iii) has an automated external defibrillator and employs or contracts with 1 or more individuals on the premises trained in its use; and

              (iv) employs or contracts with 1 or more lifeguards on the premises trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, if the overseas vacation destination has swimming pools or other water-based activities on its premises, or in areas under its control for use by guests; or

              (3) Information that services are not available 24 hours a day. If the onsite health and safety services at an overseas vacation destination are not available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the site operator shall display the hours and days of availability on its web site in a clear and conspicuous manner.

              (c) If the onsite health and safety services described in paragraph (2) are not available at an overseas vacation destination, or if the site operator does not possess information on the onsite health and safety services required to be displayed on its web site, the site operator shall display in a clear and conspicuous manner the following notification:-- “This destination does not provide certain health and safety services, or information regarding such services is not available. Travel to this destination may pose an increased risk to your health or safety”.

              (d) A site operator shall establish a process under which an overseas vacation destination will be suspended from its web site as a result of complaints from consumers to the site operator regarding poor medical care, unsafe or unsanitary facilities, or other health or safety-related issues with respect to such destination.

              (e) A site operator shall make all complaints submitted by consumers publicly available on its web site and may modify the contents of such complaints at the request of the complainant or may remove offensive language and personal identification information.

              (f) A violation of any provision of this section shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)) set forth in section 2 of chapter 93A. The office of consumer affairs and business regulation shall enforce this act in the, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act were incorporated into and made a part of this act.

              SECTION 2. The office of consumer affairs and business regulation shall issue regulations to carry out this act not later than six months after the effective date of this act.

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