Serviced Accommodation Online Booking Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions make up the agreement between us and you, in relation to any accommodation Booking made on your behalf using the VS Booking Engine, whether at the VS Site or at any Provider Site. Please note that certain terms are defined at the end of this document.

1. Appointment of VisitScotland as booking agent

By using the VS Booking Engine, you appoint us as your agent for the purpose of making Bookings on your behalf. Where we make a Booking for you, a legal contract for the provision of the accommodation/services will be formed between you and the Accommodation Provider and a Booking contract made up of the details of the Booking concerned and these terms and conditions will be formed between you and us.


2. Information Sources

You can browse through Accommodation on the VS Site, or for some accommodation you can visit the Provider Site directly, where information is available and a booking can be made through the VS Booking Engine. You should be aware that if you proceed to make a Booking using a Provider Site rather than the VS Site, the arrangements set out in Clause 1 above will still apply.


3. The Booking Process, Commission and Charges

3.1 In light of the arrangements set out in Clause 2 above, these terms and conditions will be applicable whether you are making a Booking using the VS Site or a Provider Site and in either case, your entry into a Booking Contract will involve making a payment to us. In order to ensure that there is clarity as to the type of Booking that is made, these terms and conditions use the words "Mediated Booking" to refer to a Booking made using the VS Site only and the words "Direct Booking" to refer to a Booking made using a Provider Site.

3.2 When you have entered your accommodation requirements and your personal and credit/debit card details, whether through the VS Site or the Provider's Site, you will be invited to complete the booking process and confirm your acceptance of these terms and conditions by pressing the "book" button. We will treat that action as your offer to contract with the Accommodation Provider. We will then, subject to availability of your chosen accommodation, process that offer on your behalf.

3.2.1 Where you are making a Mediated Booking through the VS Site: As part of that process we will charge your nominated credit or debit card a non-refundable payment equal to 8% or 10% of the Total Price. That payment represents payment to us for our role in making the Booking and is treated by us as a payment by way of commission. Whether you pay 8% or 10% commission for a Mediated Booking will depend on the Establishment for which you book your accommodation, and will be confirmed prior to Booking.

3.2.2 Where you are making a Direct Booking through the Provider's Site: As part of that process we will charge your nominated credit or debit card a non-refundable payment of 8% of the Total Price, of which 0.5% will be retained by us as payment for credit card and processing costs (again treated by us as a payment by way of commission), and 7.5% will be forwarded to the Accommodation Provider.

3.3 Please be aware that the 8% or 10% of Total Price paid by you under Clause 3.2 above will also constitute your deposit payment in relation to the Booking. For ease, that 8% or 10% payment is referred to in these terms and conditions as your "Deposit". Where necessary, the element of that payment which is retained by us (whether the full 8% or 10% or the smaller 0.5% amount) may also be referred to as our "Commission".
3.4 Confirmation of your Booking together with the relevant booking reference number will be forwarded to both you and the Accommodation Provider once payment of the Deposit has been confirmed.

3.5 Unless Clause 3.6 applies, you must pay the balance of the Total Price payable for the Booking (ie the Total Price less the 8% or 10% paid by way of your Deposit) direct to the Accommodation Provider when you are at the Establishment.

3.6 In some instances, an Accommodation Provider will require some or all of the balance of the Total Price to be paid in advance of the first day of your Scheduled Stay. If this is the case, the Accommodation Provider will make you aware of the relevant payment requirements at the time that you make your Booking.

3.7 Please note that any additional arrangements made between you and the Accommodation Provider over and above the arrangements set out in these terms and conditions, will not be covered by these terms and conditions.


4. Cancellations

4.1 If you wish to cancel a Mediated Booking, you must do so by contacting the VisitScotland Contact Centre. If you cancel a Booking (whether because the Booking is a Mediated Booking or otherwise) by contacting us direct less than 120 hours before the Latest Arrival Time and that cancellation is not made on the basis that the accommodation or the Establishment does not accord with either the Booking or the information published through the VS Site: (i) we may charge your credit/debit card with a Late Cancellation Charge and, where successful, will pay that amount less a £3 administration charge to the Accommodation Provider; or (ii) where a Late Cancellation Charge is not or cannot be levied by us, we will pass your name and address to the Accommodation Provider to allow it to recover a Late Cancellation Charge from you direct.

4.2 Where you cancel a Booking by contacting the Accommodation Provider direct (whether because the Booking is a Direct Booking or otherwise) and that contact is made less than 120 hours before the Latest Arrival Time: (i) we may charge your credit/debit card with a Late Cancellation Charge and, where successful, will pay that amount less a £3 administration charge to the Accommodation Provider; or (ii) where a Late Cancellation Charge is not or cannot be levied by us, we will pass your name and address to the Accommodation Provider to allow it to recover a Late Cancellation Charge from you direct.

4.3 Where you cancel a Booking, you acknowledge that we will in all circumstances be entitled to retain our Commission.

4.4 If the Accommodation Provider cancels a Booking at any time it will notify you and us and in those circumstances, we will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that the Accommodation Provider promptly refunds to you all sums paid by you in relation to the Booking, including an amount equal to your Deposit.

4.5 If the Accommodation Provider cancels a Booking less than 120 hours before the Latest Arrival Time, the Accommodation Provider will offer to you either a refund in accordance with Clause 4.4 or will arrange for you, at the Accommodation Provider's expense, accommodation of a comparable standard and in the same locality as that in the original Booking. If the alternative accommodation offered is of a lower value than the accommodation comprising the original Booking, the Accommodation Provider shall reimburse the difference to you if you accept the Accommodation Provider's offer of alternative accommodation.

4.6 If you do not take up any offer of alternative accommodation made by the Accommodation Provider under Clause 4.5, we may at our discretion make a compensatory payment to you in addition to the refund due by the Accommodation Provider under Clause 4.4, to reflect any additional expense or inconvenience suffered by you as a result of the cancellation.

4.7 Unless your Booking has already been cancelled in accordance with Clauses 4.1, 4.2, 4.4 or 4.5, your failure to arrive for a Booking by 9pm on the first night of the Scheduled Stay will be treated as a cancellation made on less than 120 hours notice in accordance with Clause 4.1 and a Late Cancellation Charge may be made by the Accommodation Provider. If the Accommodation Provider chooses to re-let the accommodation and you arrive prior to that 9pm deadline or that agreed late arrival, a double booking will be deemed to have occurred in accordance with Clause 5.2.

4.8 If you anticipate that you will fail to arrive for a Booking by the 9pm deadline specified in Clause 4.7, you should notify the Accommodation Provider directly. If you agree an alternative arrival time with the Accommodation Provider, that alternative time will replace the 9pm deadline specified in Clause 4.7.

4.9 Notwithstanding Clause 4.10, if after arrival you fail to stay and pay for the full duration of your Booking, the Accommodation Provider will, if it so wishes, be entitled to recover from you an amount as reimbursement for revenue lost as a result of the room sitting empty. The amount charged will be determined by the Provider in each situation but will not exceed the balance of the Total Price payable for the Booking (ie the Total Price less the 8% or 10% paid by way of your Deposit).

4.10 If an Accommodation Provider wishes to charge a cancellation charge greater than the Late Cancellation Charge it will have to make you aware of the level of the charge and the payment requirements at the time that you make your Booking.


5 Unfulfilled bookings

5.1 Where a Double Booking occurs in relation to a Booking, we will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that the Accommodation Provider will either: (i) allocate the Double Booked accommodation to you; or (ii) only with your consent, arrange alternative accommodation of a comparable standard. Where in those circumstances, you are unable to be accommodated due to a Double Booking, we will repay to you that part of any sums paid by you to date which relate to the Double Booked accommodation.

5.2 Where, with reasonable justification, you cancel a Mediated Booking on the basis that the accommodation or Establishment does not accord with the Booking or the information published through the VS Site, we will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure, with your consent, that the Accommodation Provider arranges alternative accommodation equal to or better than the standard originally booked and we will repay to you that part of any sums paid by you to date which relate to the cancelled Booking.

5.3 Please note that we are not obliged to provide the support outlined in Clause 5.2 where you cancel a Direct Booking.


6. Booking alterations

6.1 If you wish to alter a Mediated Booking, you must do so by contacting the VisitScotland Contact Centre.  We will use all reasonable endeavours to accommodate a request to alter a Booking. A charge of £5 (inclusive of VAT) will be made by us to your credit/debit card for any alteration made to a Mediated Booking. Except in the circumstances described in Clause 6.2 below, where the alteration requested results in a change in the total price of the Booking, the amount of Commission due from you will be adjusted to 8% or 10% (as appropriate) of the Total Price of the altered Booking and your credit/debit card will be charged or credited accordingly.

6.2 In the event that the alteration to your Mediated Booking involves reducing the amount of rooms that you have booked, the number of rooms that the Booking has been reduced by will be deemed to be cancelled and we will retain our Commission for those rooms in accordance with Clause 4.3.

6.3 Where your request to alter a Mediated Booking cannot be met, we will give you the option either: (i) to let the Booking stand unaltered; or (ii) to treat the Booking as being cancelled in accordance with Clause 4.1 or 4.2 (as appropriate).

6.4 Where you wish to alter a Direct Booking, you should contact the relevant Accommodation Provider direct.

6.5 Where a request to alter a Booking is made less than 120 hours before the Latest Arrival Time and the request cannot be met, resulting in a cancellation, a Late Cancellation Charge will automatically apply.


7. Complaints

Any complaint you have relating to the Accommodation Provider or its Establishment should in the first instance be made to the Accommodation Provider at the time of your stay. If your complaint is not dealt with to your satisfaction, you should refer the complaint to us, and it will then be handled in accordance with our complaints process.


8. Liability

8.1 Subject to Clause 8.3, in no event will we be liable to you, in contract, delict (including negligence or breach of statutory duty) or otherwise howsoever and whatever the cause thereof for any loss of profit, business, contracts, revenues or anticipated savings, increased costs or expenses, special, indirect or consequential damage or loss howsoever arising out of a Booking.

8.2 Our total liability to you in respect of any costs or losses directly associated with any Booking shall in no circumstances exceed an amount equal to the total sums paid by you to us in relation to that Booking.

8.3 We shall have no liability for the Accommodation Provider's negligence or failure to meet its obligations in relation to the Booking.

8.4 Nothing in this Clause 8 shall seek to limit or exclude our liability to you for death or personal injury caused by your negligence.


9. Data protection

9.1 Please note that when giving information for the purposes of making your Booking, you will be deemed to consent to us holding, using and making that information available to Accommodation Providers and our agents and subcontractors for the purposes of attempting to make/making a Booking on your behalf and subsequently meeting our obligations set out in these terms and conditions.

9.2 When giving information for the purposes of making your Booking, you will be asked to provide your express consent to us holding and using that information to send you details of selected tourism businesses, products and services that we think you will find valuable and passing your details to selected third parties involved in the tourism industry. If, after giving such consent, you no longer wish your information to be used in that way, please contact us, giving your name and address: (i) by post to VisitScotland, Ocean Point One, 94 Ocean Drive, Edinburgh, EH6 6JH; or (ii) by e-mail to enquiries@visitscotland.com; or (iii) by telephone on 0845 22 55 121.

9.3 We may record telephone calls made between you and the VisitScotland Contact Centre for the purpose of processing Bookings, conducting internal training and providing evidence in the event of a dispute, and you will be deemed to consent to such recording by communicating with the VisitScotland Contact Centre by telephone.


10. General

10.1 We provide the VS Site, the VS Booking Engine and the VisitScotland Contact Centre in association with the Accommodation Providers.

10.2 These terms and conditions, together with the details of a particular Booking constitute the entire agreement between you and us in relation to that Booking. Nothing in this Clause shall exclude the liability of either party for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

10.3 In the event that the whole or any part of a provision may prove to be illegal or unenforceable, the other provisions of these terms and conditions and the remainder of the provision in question will remain in full force and effect.

10.4 Unless otherwise stated, VAT is chargeable on the sale of all goods and supply of all services which are subject to VAT, whether supplied to you by us or the Accommodation Provider.

10.5 The construction, validity and performance of the Booking and these terms and conditions shall be governed by the law of Scotland and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts in as far as permitted by law.


11 Definitions

"Accommodation Provider" means the person or other legal entity providing the accommodation/services that you have selected for your Booking;

"Booking" means a booking for accommodation and/or services selected by you using the VS Booking Engine, being either a Mediated Booking or a Direct Booking;

"Commission" has the meaning attributed to that term in Clause 3.3;

"Deposit" has the meaning attributed to that term in Clause 3.3;

"Direct Booking" means an accommodation booking made using a Provider Site;

"Double Booking" means that the accommodation making up your Booking is not available because another person has been booked to stay there for all or part of your Scheduled Stay, the term "Double Booked" being construed accordingly;

"Establishment" means the hotel, guest house or other establishment at which your accommodation is booked;

"Late Cancellation Charge" means an amount equal to 90% of the price (including VAT) of the accommodation (which may include certain meals) booked for the first night of your Scheduled Stay;

"Latest Arrival Time" means 9pm local time on the first day of your Scheduled Stay;

"Mediated Booking" means an accommodation booking made using the VS Site rather than a Provider Site;

"Provider Site" means any Accommodation Provider's website where online bookings can be made through the VS Booking Engine;

"Scheduled Stay" means the period covered by your Booking;

"Total Price" means the total charge for accommodation and/or services (including VAT) levied by the Accommodation Provider (including any Deposit) for the whole period covered by your Booking;

"VS Booking Engine" means the website technology and secure transaction processing that is provided by VisitScotland either at the VS Site or at the Provider Sites (or at the websites of other parties), in order to facilitate the matching of booking enquiries and accommodation and transact online accommodation Bookings.

"VS Site" means the website that we operate which includes the facility to match booking enquiries and accommodation;

"us" and "we" means VisitScotland, and "our" means VisitScotland's;

"VAT" means value added tax;

"VisitScotland.com" means VisitScotland, which is a Non-Departmental Public Body set up under Section 6(1) of The Development of Tourism Act 1969;

"VisitScotland Contact Centre" means the contact centre that we operate in order to facilitate cancellations and alterations of Bookings, which can be accessed by telephone on 0845 2255 121, by fax on 0131 625 8626 or by e-mail to info@VisitScotland.com; and

"you" or "your" means the customer on whose behalf a Booking is made;