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ATTE 3113: INTRODUCTION TO HOSPITALITY AND

TOURISM LAW

THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT FOR TOURISM INDUSTRY IN KENYA


Before 2013, there has never been any specific law that dealt with consumer protection in
Kenya. Consumer protection was covered by various legislations which included:

The Standards Act


The Trade Descriptions Act
Restrictive Trade Practices
Weights and Measures Act
Standards Act
Monopolies and Price Control Act (Competition Act)
Food, Drugs and Chemical Substances Act
The Pharmacy and Poisons Act
The Fertilizer and Animal Foodstuffs Act
As well as Private law measures in the law of Contract and the law of Torts

There are also Acts of Parliament in this connection that relate to the case of provision of
legal professional services to customers such as the Law Society of Kenya Act and the
Advocates Act. These are statutes that seek to ban malpractices by prosecuting offenders for
breach of their provisions. However, they do not empower customers to sue the offender in order
to get redress which include compensation where the breach affects him or her greatly. These
have been the major setbacks in the protection of consumers by these statutes.
It is in this regard that the Article 46 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and its enabling
statute, the Consumer Protection Act are a great landmark to the achievements in the area of
consumer protection. These laws clearly spell out the rights and obligations of a customer in any

INTRODUCTION TO HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM LAW


product or service liability. They make the provisions for the promotion and enforcement of
consumer rights as well as empower consumers to seek redress for infringement of their rights as
consumers and also make provisions for compensation.
Part II of the Act provides consumers with a wide range of rights including the right to
commence legal action on behalf of a class of persons in relation to any contract for the supply of
goods or the delivery of services to the customer. The right cannot be ousted by any agreement
between the parties. Other consumer rights provided for in the Act include:

the right to full pre-contractual information for the consumer to make informed choice
the right to complain with regard to quality, delays in provision or rectification, quantity
and price of such goods or services as are offered
The right to a reasonable notification of termination of services amongst others

The Acts prohibit unfair practices and provide sanctions against organizations that engage in
unfair practices. Such practices include:

Representing that goods or services have a sponsorship, approval, performance or


characteristics that they do not have
Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, identity, gauge,
grade, style or model if they are not

Acts prohibits false statements on:

Misleading indications as to price


Misleading information on place and date of production
Prohibition false or misleading statements as to services or accomodation

To promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and
services, Consumer protection regulations have been knit around several fundamental consumer
rights which include the following:

Right to Privacy
Tourism organizations should protect and respect the privacy of their customers by
ensuring that the information that is disclosed to them is safeguarded and used
responsibly. Telephone contacts, email and physical addresses should not be used for
whatever purpose without the consent of the customers. They should also limit their calls
and messages to an acceptable level so us not to be seen as a nuisance.
Right to Choose
Consumers for Tourism products should be given array of alternatives to choose from
depending with their financial power, needs, wants and preferences.

INTRODUCTION TO HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM LAW

Right to Disclosure of Information


Descriptions to services and facilities should be available for Consumers before
purchasing Tourism products. The consumers of tourism products have the right to seek
information about any product offering in the market prior and after purchase. The
Tourism organizations should not withhold any information that is crucial to the
customers, prices should be advertised.
Right to Equality in the Consumer Market
All customers must be treated equally irrespective of their Age, gender, color, ethnicity,
tribe, affiliations, nationality and disability amongst others.
Right to Fair and Responsible Marketing
All Marketing initiatives by the Tourism Organization should be in-line with what is
actually being offered in the ground. They should be honest in portraying their level of
service performance and the actual service delivery.
Students to research on the following rights and develop examples to support the ideas.

Protection against Discriminatory Marketing Practices


Right to Fair and Honest dealing
Right to Good Quality, Fair Value and Safety
Right to Accountability from Suppliers

Therefore, where a customer enters into an agreement whether it is orally or written, after or
while a person has engaged in unfair practice, the Act provides that the consumer has the right to
terminate the agreement and seek any remedy available in law which may include suit for
damages.
Various organizations have also sprung up in an attempt to safeguard consumers against
unfair acts and practices by various organizations operating in Kenya today. The Consumer
Federation of Kenya (COFEK) is an example of a vibrant organization that seeks to safeguard
consumer interests when it comes to goods and services consumption.