General Travel Conditions
1. Conclusion of a Travel Contract
By notifying DOMINICAN EXPERT, the customer offers the conclusion of a travel contract. Travel intermediaries (eg. travel agencies) and service providers (eg. hotels, transport companies) are not authorized by DOMINICAN EXPERT to make arrangements, or to give information or give assurances that amend the content of the travel contract, beyond the contractually agreed performance of DOMINICAN EXPERT or in contradiction to the travel advertisement. Resort and hotel brochures, which are not published by DOMINICAN EXPERT, are not binding DOMINICAN EXPERT and its service obligation, unless they have been declared to become object of the travel advertisement or contents of the obligation of DOMINICAN EXPERTby express agreement with the traveler. The booking can be made verbally, in writing, by telephone, by fax or by electronic means (e-mail, Internet). In case of electronic bookings, DOMINICAN EXPERT acknowledges the receipt of the booking immediately by electronic means. The customer is responsible for all contractual obligations of passengers for which he makes the booking, as for his own, if he has accepted this obligation by an explicit and separate declaration. The contract is concluded if the customer receives the acceptance of DOMINICAN EXPERT. Only confirming the receipt of an application shall not constitute acceptance. The acceptance does not require any particular form. At or immediately after the conclusion of a travel contract, DOMINICAN EXPERT will send the customer a written confirmation. DOMINICAN EXPERT is not obliged to confirm when the booking is made by the customer less than 7 working days prior to departure. If the contents of the confirmation differ to the contents of the application, this constitutes a new offer by DOMINICAN EXPERT, who is then is bound to the contents of the new offer for a period of 10 days. The respective travel contract is concluded on the basis of the new offer, if the traveler explicitly declares to accept within the commitment period of DOMINICAN EXPERT or if the traveler makes a respective payment.
If DOMINICAN EXPERT offers to the client any arrangements from other tour operators, their respective own travel terms and conditions apply. For all flight-only arrangements (including APEX / PEX), the general contract and travel conditions of the relevant airlines apply. DOMINICAN EXPERT in such cases is not a party, and the customer therefore cannot rely on the present Terms and Conditions.
With conclusion of the contract, a deposit from the customer is required 20% of the price per person. If the payment is not made, DOMINICAN EXPERT is authorized to withdraw from the contract after setting another deadline. Other payments are due on the agreed dates; final payment is due 4 weeks prior to travel. Upon receipt of full payment of the price, the travel documents will be issued to the customer.
What services are contracted is resulting from the services described in the travel prospectus, our website and from any related acquiring information of the booking confirmation. In case of conflict between the information contained in travel prospectus or our website and the travel confirmation, the details in the booking confirmation are valid. Any alterations to individual travel services from the agreed content of the travel contract, which become necessary after conclusion of the contract, or which were not caused by DOMINICAN EXPERT as breach of good faith, are permitted, provided that the changes or deviations are not substantial and do not affect the overall form of the tour. Any warranty claims remain unaffected insofar as the changed services are flawed. DOMINICAN EXPERT is obliged to inform the customer about service changes or deviations immediately. If necessary, DOMINICAN EXPERT will offer the customer a free rebooking or a free resignation.
4. Changes of Prices
DOMINICAN EXPERT reserves the right to change its prices as advertised and confirmed upon booking, in the case of an increase in transportation costs (including the cost of fuel), or charges for certain services, such as port or airport fees or changes of the exchange rate applicable for the vacation in question, those changes are as follows:
Increase in transportation costs:
- With respect to the price increase related to a seat, DOMINICAN EXPERT can request the increased amount by the customer.
- In other cases, additional transportation costs asked by the transport provider are divided by the number of seats in the agreed means of transport. To obtain the amount thus resulting, DOMINICAN EXPERT may increase the agreed price.
Increasing the port – and airport fees:
- DOMINICAN EXPERT may increase the tour price by the proportionate amount.
Price Changes due to changes of the exchange rate:
- DOMINICAN EXPERT may increase the tour price to the extent to which the exchange rate has increased for the purchase of travel services.
Government-mandated price increases (e.g. taxes):
DOMINICAN EXPERT may increase the tour price by the amount of government-mandated price increase.
The increase shall be permitted only if between the contract and the agreed travel date more than three months have passed and the reasons leading to the increase were not yet present neither foreseen in the contract. In the event of a subsequent change of the price DOMINICAN EXPERT must notify the customer immediately thereof. Price increases from the 20th day prior to departure are not allowed. If the price increases by more than 10% of the customer is entitled without charge to withdraw from the contract or to request to join an equivalent travel if DOMINICAN EXPERT is able to offer such a trip without additional cost to the traveler from his tours offered. The customer must assert these rights immediately after the declaration of the price increase by DOMINICAN EXPERT.
5. Cancellation by the client, cancellation fees, transfers, replacement persons
The Customer may withdraw at any time prior to departure of the trip, whereby the receipt of the notice of cancellation at DOMINICAN EXPERT is decisive. The customer is advised to declare the cancellation in writing. If the customer withdraws from the contract or fails to participate in the trip, and if the withdrawal is not caused by DOMINICAN EXPERT, the latter can ask the following cancellation charges, by considering usually saved expenses and possible alternative use of the travel services:
From reservation date until 30 days before departure: 20%
30-15 days before departure 40%
14-08 days before departure 60%
07-02 days before departure 80%
01 day before departure or no-show 100%
Until the beginning of the aforementioned cancellation deadlines, DOMINICAN EXPERT charges for cancellations and changes (name change, changes the date of travel, transfer of property) a handling fee of $ 100.00 per person, and a maximum of USD 200.00 per order. In addition thereto any telephone, fax and mail expenses.
Any change requests of customers, received after the 45th day prior to departure, are possible only after withdrawal from the original contract and making a new one under the same conditions. Until the start of the journey, the traveler can request that instead of him a third party assumes the rights and obligations arising from the travel contract. DOMINICAN EXPERT may oppose the entry of the third, if he does not meet the travel requirements or if his participation is against the law or given administrative orders. If a third party enters the contract, both are liable against DOMINICAN EXPERT for the travel price and any additional costs incurred.
For the cancellation of special promotions/flights only, 100% of the package price will be charged. For individual travel services, stricter rules apply. The customer should, therefore, observe our “travel terms and conditions” in the relevant catalog or the information on the booking confirmation.
With scheduled flights and scheduled flights at special rates (e.g. As PEX / APEX), the cancellation and rebooking fees and conditions of the respective airlines and fare classes apply.
6. Unused services
If the traveler does not make use of the travel services due to premature return or any other compelling reasons, DOMINICAN EXPERT will try to receive a reimbursement from the service providers for services not rendered. This obligation does not apply if it is totally irrelevant or if a refund is contrary to legal or regulatory provisions.
7. Cancellation by DOMINICAN EXPERT
DOMINICAN EXPERT may withdraw from or cancel the contract prior to travel in the following cases:
If the traveler disturbs the implementation of a journey despite a warning from DOMINICAN EXPERT or if he violates the contract to such an extent that immediate termination of the contract is justified. If DOMINICAN EXPERT cancels, its claim for the tour price remains; DOMINICAN EXPERT must, however, be credited the value of the saved expenses and the benefits to be gained from a different use of unused services, including reimbursed by the service providers.
2 weeks before departure:
Failure to achieve an advertised or officially specified minimum number of participants, if such was mentioned in the respective tour description. In any case, DOMINICAN EXPERT is obliged to inform the customer immediately after such condition occurs for a non-implementation of the tour and to send a notice of withdrawal to the customer. The customer in such case receives the monies paid back immediately. Should already be apparent at an earlier date that the minimum number of participants can not be reached, DOMINICAN EXPERT has to inform the customer accordingly.
4 weeks before departure:
If the execution of the journey by DOMINICAN EXPERT is not reasonable because the booking for this tour is so low that in the case of the provisioning the travel costs for this trip would mean exceeding the economic sacrifice limit for DOMINICAN EXPERT. A right of withdrawal by DOMINICAN EXPERT exists only, if the circumstances leading to the resignation byDOMINICAN EXPERT be proven, and if DOMINICAN EXPERT has submitted a comparable offer to the traveler. If the trip is canceled for this reason, the customer receives the monies paid back immediately. In addition, he will be reimbursed his booking cost at flat rate, provided he does not use a replacement offer from DOMINICAN EXPERT.
8. Obligations of the Customer
If the trip is not provided under the contract, the customer may require remedy. The customer is, however, obliged to indicate any established travel defect immediately to DOMINICAN EXPERT. If he fails to do so, a reduction in the price does not occur. This does not apply if the claim is unreasonable. The customer is obliged to claim any defects immediately to the tour guide, in case no guide is present at the holiday location, any claims against DOMINICAN EXPERT must be declared at its office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The client is informed about the access to the travel guide or travel agency in the respective service description, at least being informed via the travel documents he received. The tour guide is asked to take remedial action if possible. However, he is not authorized to accept the customer’s claims. The customer is entitled to remedy the claimed defects himself, provided that the DOMINICAN EXPERT-tour manager or local DOMINICAN EXPERT representative or the service provider does not offer an appropriate solution at the latest within 48 hours. Any costs resulting for the customer in such case are replaced in accordance with legal and contractual liability of DOMINICAN EXPERT receipts. Is not reasonable to continue the journey or the stay at the holiday due to serious deficiencies, the customer must necessarily obtain a corresponding confirmation by the local DOMINICAN EXPERT representative or the DOMINICAN EXPERT-guide or the service provider that and why the customer has made complaints. The local DOMINICAN EXPERT representative or the DOMINICAN EXPERT management or the service providers are obliged to record in writing the facts and complaints made by a customer. The local representative or service providers, etc. are not authorized to recognize any claims for reimbursement.
Deadline before termination:
If a customer wants cancel the contract due to a travel defect or identifiable major reasons due to unreasonableness, he has to set a reasonable deadline for remedy. This shall not apply if remedy is objectively impossible, or if it is refused by DOMINICAN EXPERT, or if the immediate termination of the contract by a recognizable interest of the customer is justified.
Loss of baggage and baggage delay:
DOMINICAN EXPERT strongly recommends that damage or delays in air travel immediately are reported by means of a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) af the relevant airline. Airlines usually refuse refunds when the claim form has not been filled out. The damage report to reimburse for lost luggage has to be made within 7 days, in case of delay within 21 days after delivery. Additionally, any loss, damage or misdirection of baggage, has to be reported to the tour guide or the local representative of DOMINICAN EXPERT.
The customer has to inform DOMINICAN EXPERT, when he does not receive the necessary travel documents (e.g. Flight ticket, Hotel vouchers) within the period set by the tour operator.
The customer has to prevent the occurrence of a loss as possible and to keep incurred losses low. In particular, he has to point out to DOMINICAN EXPERT any danger of damage.
9. Limitation of Liability
The contractual liability of DOMINICAN EXPERT for damages other than bodily injury is limited to two times the travel price,
a) if damage to the customer was not caused by intent or gross negligence or
b) to the extent that DOMINICAN EXPERT is responsible for the loss or damage incurred solely by a service provider.
The tortious liability of DOMINICAN EXPERT for property damage not being caused by intent or gross negligence is limited to twice the travelprice. This maximum liability amount applies per customer and travel. Any further claims related to baggage under the Montreal Convention remain unaffected by this limitation. DOMINICAN EXPERT is not liable for service disruptions, personal injury and property damage in connection with services that are only arranged as external services (e.g. outings, sports events, theater performances, exhibitions, transport services to and from the place of departure and destination). If DOMINICAN EXPERT has the position of contracting air freight carrier, so liability is governed by the provisions of the Aviation Act in connection with the Montreal Convention. These agreements usually limit the liability of the carrier for death or personal injury and loss and damage of luggage. If DOMINICAN EXPERT in other cases acts a service provider, the company is responsible for the observance of regulations of such provider. If DOMINICAN EXPERT acts as sea travel provider, the liability shall be regulated by the provisions of §§ 664 ff Commercial Code (HGB) and the respective Inland Waterways Act.
10. Accidents and diseases
DOMINICAN EXPERT accepts liability for direct damages resulting by death, personal injury or illness while traveling, and culpably caused by DOMINICAN EXPERT or an entrusted provider (hotels, etc.), provided that the customer leaves any damage claims with the appropriate amount to DOMINICAN EXPERT. In case of death, injury or illness suffered by the customer in connection with air transport or the use of transport companies (train, bus, etc.), the compensation claims of amount is limited to the sums from the applicable international agreements or national law arise. Any further liability of DOMINICAN EXPERT is excluded in these cases.
11. Exclusion of claims, limitation and assignment clause
Claims for non-contractual provision of the trip have to be made by the traveler towards DOMINICAN EXPERT within one month of the contractual end of the journey. The period-preserving assertion can be made only to the address given below. After the deadline, the traveler can only assert claims if he has been prevented through no fault of meeting the deadline. However, this does not apply to the deadline for filing damage to baggage, delays in baggage or loss in connection with flights in accordance with Section 8. These are to report within seven days for lost luggage and for baggage delay within 21 days of delivery. Contractual claims of the traveler expire after one year. The expiration period begins with the date on which the journey should end according to the contract. In case of pending negotiations on the claims of the traveler, limitation period is suspended until DOMINICAN EXPERT or the passenger refuses to continue the negotiations. In such case, the limitation period shall expire no earlier than 3 months after the end of the suspension. The assignment of customer claims against DOMINICAN EXPERT, to third parties who have not participated in the trip, is excluded.
12. Passport, visa and health requirements
DOMINICAN EXPERT is committed to inform travelers to the Dominican Republic about passport-, visa- and health regulations, as well as any changes thereof, prior to departure. For travelers from the Dominican Republic to other countries, the relevant consulate can provide such information, under the assumption that no peculiarities in the person of the customer and any fellow travelers (z. B. dual nationality or statelessness). The customer is responsible for obtaining and carrying the necessary travel documents, any necessary vaccinations and complying with customs and currency regulations. Disadvantages from non-compliance with such regulations, such as the payment of cancellation costs are his obligation. This does not apply if DOMINICAN EXPERT has culpably not provided any information, or insufficiently or misinformed. DOMINICAN EXPERT is not liable for the timely issue and receipt of necessary visas from the respective diplomatic representation if the traveler has DOMINICAN EXPERT instructed to procure such, unless that DOMINICAN EXPERT is responsible for the delay.
13. Choice of Law
The contractual relationship between the customer and DOMINICAN EXPERT is exclusively Dominican law. This also applies to the entire legal relationship.
The traveler can sue DOMINICAN EXPERT only at its registered domicile. In proceedings of DOMINICAN EXPERT against the traveler the domicile of the traveler is decisive.
These terms and conditions correspond to the status of January 2013, and are involved in all travel contracts being closed from 01 January 2012 onwards.