The appellate court qualified the defendant as a tour operator and not merely as a travel agent. Amongst others, the reason was that the defendant did not explicitly declare itself as a travel agent in the travel brochure or in the booking confirmation. Because of the defendant being a tour operator, the court said that he is also responsible for the behaviour of his sub-contractors, in particular the company performing the bicycle tour.
The considerably shortened length of the bicycle tour was qualified by the appellate court as a significant defect in regard to the contract. The tour operator is liable for all damages arising out of insufficient services of a travel holiday pursuant to the special warranty regulation as defined under article 4(7) of Directive 90/314 (implemented into Austrian law by § 31e of the Consumer Protection Act), this in accordance with the general warranty law. Furthermore, a tour operator is liable for damages pursuant to general tort law if he has caused damage to the travel holiday.
The loss of enjoyment of a holiday has to be compensated by the defendant as well, but only regarding the bicycle tour as the beach holiday was provided free from defects.