Electronic commerce and hotels: an analysis of online travel agencies’ civil liability
Thiago Dias Silva
Civil Liability; Online Travel Agencies; Travel Agency; E-commerce; OTAs; Consumer Law.
The development of the Internet has led to extreme changes in society: it has allowed the establishment of new ways of thinking, acting, interacting and relating to the world, and the emergence of different economic activities that were never thought before, like e-commerce. However, Law does not always provide accurate and immediate solutions to all matters of this new social dynamic, mainly because legislative process is not as fast as technology evolution. An issue that arises with the emergence of new digital business is the civil liability of online travel agencies. This paper aims to question the model of responsibility imputed to those agencies. It is intended to justify, from the theory of the dialogue of sources, the flexibility of the regime of responsibilities of traditional travel agencies, so that in the case of online agencies, Law must be enforced and interpreted in a harmonic way, considering the legal system as a whole. Finally, this study concludes that it is a duty of the interpreter, in order to reduce the abstraction of the law, to judge the case according to its peculiarities, characteristics and specificities, resulting in a more just and adequate decision to the present reality.