General Terms & Conditions

General Terms & Conditions of Matterhorn Region AG, Sion, Switzerland

We are delighted that you are interested in a holiday in Valais. We ask you to read carefully the following General Terms & Conditions of Matterhorn Region AG, Rue Pré-Fleuri 6, 1950 Sion, Switzerland (hereafter “MRAG”).

I. Scope of application

These General Terms & Conditions apply when you (hereafter also the “User”) open a user account in the online shop operated by MRAG (hereafter “Online Shop”), which allows you to book accommodation and other tourist services. These General Terms & Conditions form an integral part of every contract concluded between the User and MRAG.

The chapter “A. General conditions” applies to all contractual relations between the User and MRAG. The provisions in chapter “B. Special conditions for package tours” additionally apply only when MRAG acts as the organiser of a package tour as defined in art. 1 of the Federal Act on Package Travel (FAPT), and in such cases have priority over the conditions in chapter “A. General conditions”.

A. General conditions

II. Role of MRAG

MRAG runs an Online Shop through which users can book tourist offers and accommodation from Valais destinations and other providers.

As a rule, MRAG’s role is limited to retailing offers that are published by various local tourism organisations and service providers, who are responsible for them. MRAG is only itself an organiser when this is expressly specified in the offer. In all other cases, MRAG acts purely as a retailer for the services of third parties.

Where MRAG acts purely as a retailer, it is not a contracting party for services booked and as a result shall not be liable for the correct provision of these services. The chosen service provider’s General Terms & Conditions apply for the booking; these may be accessed here.

III. Redirection to websites of service providers

When clicking on certain offers in the Online Shop, the User is automatically redirected to the service provider’s website, which lies beyond the responsibility of MRAG.

Booking then takes place on the chosen service provider’s website, where payment is also processed.

IV. Booking in the Online Shop

Publication of services in the Online Shop does not constitute an offer but an invitation to the User to submit an offer. The booking of a service by the User constitutes an application to conclude the corresponding contract. The User is bound by his or her application for seven working days. The contract comes into effect only through confirmation of the booking by MRAG. If the confirmation differs from the User’s original booking, this confirmation in turn constitutes an offer by MRAG, by which MRAG is bound for seven working days. The contract comes into effect on this new basis when the User declares acceptance within the deadline. Payment by the User also counts as acceptance. In the case of an obvious false booking as a result of system-related errors in the booking system, MRAG has the right to cancel the booking without penalty.

Confirmation of the booking takes place electronically. When tickets must be issued physically, MRAG sends them to the customer by post or other suitable means. If the customer has not received full documentation at the latest five working days before the beginning of the booked service, the customer must contact MRAG immediately. If the customer fails to do so, this will be considered as relinquishment of claim for provision of the service, subject to charge, and MRAG will be freed from all liability for the non-viability of the service. MRAG accepts no liability whatsoever for late delivery of travel documents by post or courier service.

V. Payment in the Online Shop

The User books shopping basket items in the Online Shop; for each of these individual items, MRAG acts as retailer with a collection mandate. In each case, the contracting party is the engaged/booked supplier or service provider. Only in expressly specified cases is this MRAG itself.

The price to be paid by the User is the overall price of items in the shopping basket, stated in Swiss Francs (CHF). Unless expressly stated otherwise, this includes all surcharges, taxes and fees as well as any booking charges levied by MRAG, where applicable. Swiss VAT is included in all prices. The overall price depends on the individual tailoring of the package and can therefore vary from indicative prices (e.g. “from CHF …”).

The sum owed by the User is generally to be paid immediately on booking by one of the means of payment available in the Online Shop. As long as payment is not fully complete, the service provider can decline provision of the service and cancel the contract at any time without notice.

In certain cases, details of the User’s credit card must be supplied purely as a guarantee, with payment taking place later direct with the service provider. In such cases, MRAG informs the User about this form of payment as part of the booking process.

Payment by invoice is possible only in exceptional cases at the discretion of MRAG. If MRAG issues the User an invoice, this is to be paid within 10 days but at the latest before use of the service.

The Online Shop also sells vouchers that can be redeemed again later in the Online Shop. These vouchers are subject to the following rules. The voucher may be redeemed only before completion of the ordering process, and may not be used retrospectively. It may not be used for the purchase of further vouchers. Vouchers may not be exchanged for cash, nor do they earn interest. If a residual balance remains after a purchase, a new voucher with the remaining balance is automatically issued and sent by e-mail. The voucher and any residual balance can be redeemed until the end of the third year after purchase. Only one voucher may be redeemed per purchase. Vouchers are transferable. In providing its service, MRAG discharges its legal obligations towards the voucher’s owner. This does not apply when MRAG has knowledge of, or through gross negligence is ignorant of, the voucher owner’s lack of entitlement, legal incapacity or lack of authority of representation. In the case of theft, loss, illegibility or unauthorised use, no replacement will be provided.

VI. Contents and availability of tourist offers

Information on services is compiled by the service providers, who are responsible for it. MRAG cannot check the accuracy of details given by third-party service providers and so cannot provide any guarantee or accept any liability in the case of incorrect, unclear or incomplete information.

The services published in the Online Shop are not binding offers. Until a binding booking is made, the contents and availability of services, prices, etc. can change at any time.

VII. Use of the services

The service provider alone is responsible for providing the services booked.

The scope of services is determined by the details communicated in writing by MRAG or the service provider – primarily the booking confirmation and secondarily the service description published in the Online Shop.

The availability of hotel facilities (e.g. wellness facilities) listed in the publications can not be guaranteed.

The User is liable for all participants that the User registers for the services. These General Terms & Conditions are binding for all participants.

Cancellation of a completed booking by the User is not possible, except where this was expressly agreed on conclusion of the contract (e.g. through corresponding declarations in a publication of the service provider). The right is reserved to apply the provisions for package tours in chapter “B. Special conditions for package tours”.

If a service cannot be provided fully or partially because of an unforeseeable and unavoidable event (force majeure, e.g. natural hazards, pandemic, government directives), the User is not entitled to reimbursement of payment made, and all claims for compensation shall be excluded. If a service organised by MRAG is cancelled by MRAG for other reasons, providing the regulations for package tours in chapter “B. Special conditions for package tours” apply, the User is entitled only to reimbursement of the payment already made, and all further claims shall be excluded.

VIII. Responsibility of the User

The User acknowledges that use of the Internet inherently carries certain risks. The User is personally responsible for securing adequate protection against malware and other malicious software (viruses etc.). Neither MRAG nor the partners of MRAG or booked service providers are obliged to protect the User from such dangers by means of special software etc.

IX. Responsibility of MRAG; exclusion of liability

Except in cases where MRAG itself is the organiser of a service, MRAG is not a contracting party for the booked services, and so shall not be liable for the correct performance of the contractually booked services by the service provider. If the User is not happy with the supplied services or suffers injury or damage, the booked service provider should be contacted direct. The service provider is exclusively responsible for dealing with complaints etc.

MRAG provides the Online Shop for the User free of charge. MRAG does not guarantee uninterrupted access to the Online Shop and shall not be liable for any possible interruption to the service. In particular, MRAG reserves the right to suspend service partially or fully during maintenance work etc. MRAG also reserves the right to delete services listed, to suspend operation of the Online Shop fully or partially, and so on. The User has no claim to (uninterrupted) access to the Online Shop. MRAG shall not be liable for mistakes, typographical errors or miscalculations.

Furthermore, all liability on the part of MRAG is excluded insofar as legally permissible. 

These liability rules apply to contractual, quasi-contractual and non-contractual claims. The right is reserved to apply the provisions for package tours in chapter “B. Special conditions for package tours”.

X. Data privacy; information on tourist offers in Valais

Detailed provisions concerning data privacy can be found in the MRAG Data Privacy Statement.

When a visitor sets up an account in the Online Shop, he or she must supply his or her e-mail address. If the User has agreed to this, MRAG forwards this e-mail address to Valais/Wallis Promotion, Rue Pré-Fleuri 5, 1950 Sion, Switzerland (hereafter “VWP”). VWP stores this e-mail address and will use it to make contact in various ways including greeting messages, newsletters and for promotional purposes. Each e-mail contains a link that allows the recipient to have him- or herself removed from the mailing list free of charge. In addition, the User has the possibility at any time to unsubscribe from this service by sending an e-mail to newsletter@valais.ch.

XI. Definitive language

The General Terms & Conditions have been drafted in German, French and English. In the event of discrepancies, the German version is definitive.

XII. Applicable law and place of jurisdiction

The legal relationship to MRAG shall be subject exclusively to Swiss law, to the exclusion of the Vienna Convention (CISG) and the provisions of private international law.

Sole place of jurisdiction is Sion, Switzerland.

B. Special conditions for package tours

XIII. Scope of application

The provisions in this chapter, “B. Special conditions for package tours”, apply in addition to the chapter “A. General conditions” only when the service delivered can be considered as package travel as defined in art. 1 FAPT and MRAG is the organiser as defined in art. 2 para. 1. “Customer” in the following denotes the consumer as defined in art. 2 para. 3 FAPT.

XIV. Price increases and other contractual changes

MRAG reserves the right to increase the contractually agreed price of a package tour in the following cases:

• increase in transport costs, including the cost of fuel;
• increase in dues chargeable for certain services;
• Wechselkursänderungen;
• miscalculations and publishing errors.

Customers must be notified of such price changes by e-mail no later than three weeks before the date of departure. In the case of a price increase of up to 10%, MRAG may debit the additional amount direct from the User’s credit card. If the price increase is more than 10% of the originally booked tour price, the customer has the right to cancel the contract free of charge within five days of receiving notification. The customer must inform MRAG in writing if he or she decides to cancel the contract. In this case, the customer may where possible book an alternative tour. If this alternative tour costs less than the originally booked tour, the customer can demand reimbursement of the difference in value; this will be refunded to the User’s credit card. Further claims for compensation shall be excluded.

The customer also has the right to cancel the contract as per the above paragraph if MRAG makes significant changes to essential contract terms after conclusion of the contract.

 

XV. Cancellation by the customer

The customer can terminate the contract at any time before departing on the tour. Cancellation must be made in writing and becomes binding upon written confirmation by MRAG. Cancellation fees are calculated on the basis of the time at which MRAG receives notification of the cancellation. A notification received on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday counts for the following working day.

In the event of termination of a contract, the customer shall pay MRAG a processing fee of CHF 100 per person and per tour (but a maximum of CHF 200 per contract), along with the cancellation charges, specified in the appendix, which depend on the time of cancellation. The right to claim further compensation is reserved. In the case of services supplied by third parties (e.g. hotel services), the terms of cancellation of the third party, which can be found here, take priority. MRAG is entitled to charge the administration and cancellation fees to the User’s credit card.

If several people have booked a tour or package tour and one or more of these people cannot take part in this tour (reduced booking), this reduced booking is considered as a cancellation for the non-participating person(s). As a result of this reduced booking, the non-participating person(s) will incur the processing and cancellation charges mentioned above.

If the customer suggests a replacement who is ready to enter the contract in his or her place with the same rights and obligations and undertake the tour under the agreed conditions, only the processing fee and any additional costs will be incurred along with the tour price. The replacement person must fulfil all travel requirements, and the change must be accepted by the service providers. The customer and the replacement shall be jointly and severally liable for payment for the tour and any additional costs.

XVI. Cancellation of the tour by MRAG

Package tours offered by MRAG may be based on a minimum number of participants. If this minimum number of participants is not reached, MRAG may cancel the package tour by e-mail no later than 3 weeks before the planned start of the tour.

MRAG may also cancel the tour in the event of unforeseeable and unavoidable events (force majeure, e.g. natural hazards, pandemics, government directives), about which MRAG will notify the customer as quickly as possible.

In such cases, MRAG will reimburse to the customer all payments already made, by crediting the User’s credit card. Alternatively, where possible, the customer may undertake an alternative tour. If the replacement tour costs less than the tour originally agreed, the customer can demand reimbursement of the difference to the User’s credit card. Further claims for compensation shall be excluded.

XVII. Obligations of the customer

The User is responsible for payment of the tour cost for all participants.

The customer must immediately check all documents sent to him or her (e.g. invoice, travel confirmation, travel documents) to ensure they are accurate, complete and in particular that they match the booking, and must inform MRAG of any discrepancies immediately in writing.

The customer is responsible for finding out about passport and visa requirements in force as well as any health formalities before making a booking, and also for abiding by them.

It is incumbent upon the customer to arrive at the right time and place to benefit from the contracted service. If the customer is late, the obligation to provide the service shall lapse without substitution.

The client is solely responsible for establishing whether his or her state of health meets the requirements of the planned tour.

The client is personally responsible for obtaining the required or recommended insurance cover (including insurance covering cancellation costs).

If the customer fails to fulfil his or her obligations, MRAG shall bear no liability for any consequences, and any claims to compensation by the client for defects will be considered void.

XVIII. Defective services, complaints

If the customer has cause for complaint during the tour, he or she must immediately inform the service provider as well as MRAG. MRAG will endeavour to find an appropriate solution; the customer in turn is obliged to make every reasonable effort to contribute to a resolution of the problem and minimise possible damages.

If no appropriate solution can be found there and then, the customer must demand a written confirmation from the service provider, which specifies details of the complaint. The service provider is not authorised, however, to recognise any claims by the customer.

The customer must submit his or her complaint to MRAG in writing, along with the confirmation of the service provider, within 30 days of the agreed end of the tour. If these conditions are not complied with, any claim for damages will be forfeited.

In any case, any warranty claims by the client are subject to a limitation period of one year from the agreed date of the end of the tour. Warranty claims may not be assigned to third parties.

XIX. Liability

MRAG shall be liable exclusively within the scope of these General Terms & Conditions.

Liability for all damages other than personal injury is limited for each contract to double the net tour price.

If the customer undertakes a replacement tour organised by MRAG, and the cost of this tour is lower than the cost of the tour in the contract, MRAG’s liability is limited to the reduced value of the replacement tour.

XX. Communication

All communication with the customer shall take place via the User’s e-mail address stored in the system. The User is responsible for forwarding messages from MRAG to all tour participants without delay.

Appendix: Cancellation charges

For tickets for public transport (train, bus, car transporter rail service, etc.), tickets for cable cars, chairlifts, etc. (single rides, ski passes, etc.) and entry tickets for cultural and sporting events, the cancellation fee is always 100%, unless expressly agreed otherwise at the time of booking.

If the visitor cancels the contract, the service provider, represented by MRAG, charges the visitor the following cancellation fees:

a) The conditions listed in the product description are generally applicable to the accommodation. If these are not evident, the following apply:
• 30 days before arrival: none 
• 29 - 22 days before arrival: 50% of total price
• 21 - 15 days before arrival: 80% of total price
• 14 - 0 days before arrival: 100% of total price

b) Day trip, break with accommodation, activities, snow sports schools and equipment rental:
In principle, the conditions listed in the product description are applicable. If these are not clear, the following conditions apply: 
• 30 days before arrival: none 
• 29 - 15 days before arrival: 50% of total price
• 14 – 7 days before arrival: 80% of total price
• 6 - 0 days before arrival: 100% of total price