Hotels

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Germany: Fiscal Court decides over VAT on hotel vouchers

In a decsion of Sep. 8, 2011, the German Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) decided that

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UK: Hotel owner fined in fire safety trial

A  hotel owner has paid the price for ignoring fire safety laws and been hit with a  £210,000 fine following a successful prosecution by London Fire Brigade. The case was a landmark hearing for the UK fire and rescue service, believed to be the first time that a jury – rather than magistrates or an individual judge - has convicted a defendant under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

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Canada: Supreme Court decides on jurisdiciton over foreign companies

Two cases, consoldiated on appeal, both involved personal injury claims by Canadian citizens arising from accidents they suffered during their holidays in Cuba. One of the defendants, Club Resorts Ltd., was the company that managed the two hotels where the accidents took place. Club Resorts argued that Ontario lacked jurisdiction over the actions, or in the alternative, that the doctrine of forum non conveniens should apply. The motion judges in both cases dismissed this argument and held that the Ontario courts had jurisdiction. The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld both decisions.

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Austria: tricky copyright traps in hotel advertising

The plaintiff, a painter, had made a sales exhibition of her paintings in the premises of the defendant hotel company. After the exhibition, the paintings (none of which had been sold) remained in the hotel for some time for a monthly fee to be paid by the defendant. During the exhibition, pictures of the hotel were taken which the defendant then used on its website. On one of these pictures, the plaintiff's painting "Mozart Symponie No 41" could be seen hanging on a wall in the background.

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European Court of Justice: A hotel operator which broadcasts phonograms in its rooms must pay equitable remuneration to producer

EU law requires the Member States to provide, in their legislation, a right to a single equitable remuneration for producers of phonograms published for commercial purposes, to be paid by the user of such phonograms for broadcasting or for any communication to the public. However, such equitable remuneration need not be paid in the case of ‘private use’.

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German Supreme Court: domiciliary right allows hotel to ban extremist politician from its premises

In the case of the former chairman of the extreme right wing German NPD ("Democratic Party of Germany"), Udo Voigt, whose wife had booked a private vacation at a wellness resort in Brandenburg but they were denied access by the hotel director on the reason that Voigt's extreme politcal views were detrimental to the image of the hotel and the other guests' desire for comfort and relaxation (see IFTTA news of 23 November, 2010), the German Supreme Court (BGH) has for the most part uph

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"Reviews you can trust" - UK Advertising Standards Authority finds TripAdvisor ads misleading

Claims on tripadvisor.co.uk, a website providing holiday and travel consumer reviews, stated "... read reviews from real travellers ... TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features ... TripAdvisor.com features: More than 50 million honest travel reviews and opinions from real travellers around the world".

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Germany: appellate court upholds denial of injunction against hotel review website

The plaintiff is operating a hotel in Berlin. The defendant is running a website provding for online booking of accomodation and travel packages. The website also has a section where users can post unattributed comments and reviews on hotels. These reviews included some negative comments on the plaintiff's hotel.

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Austria: Supreme Court decides on innkeeper's liability with regard to theft from hotel garage

As a hotel guest, the plaintiff - a professional photographer - had parked his car in the hotel garage. Several signs in the garage were saying

"The hotel does not accept any liablity with regard to cars parked here nor with regard to their content. Please deposit your valuables at the hotel reception".

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Florida: Miami Federal District Court denies preliminary injunction to be reinstated as hotel operator

Excerpt from the court's opinion:

One of the Plaintiffs, FHR TB, LLC (“Fairmont”), manages hotels as the agent for the owners of the hotels. The other Plaintiff, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (U.S.) Inc. (“FHRUSI”), owns Fairmont. Both Plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction reinstating Fairmont as the manager of Defendant’s hotel in Aventura, Florida. Defendant, TB Isle Resort, LP (“Turnberry”) built and operated the hotel in the 1970s , later repurchasing it and contracting with Fairmont to manage it on a long-term basis, under a hotel management agreement (“HMA”).

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