Jarvis v Swans Tours Ltd



is an
English contract law English contract law is the body of law that regulates legally binding agreements in England and Wales. With its roots in the lex mercatoria and the activism of the judiciary during the industrial revolution, it shares a heritage with countries ...
case on the measure of damages for disappointing breaches of contract.


Mr. Jarvis was a solicitor for
Barking Barking may refer to: Places * Barking, London, a town in East London, England ** London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, a local government district covering the town of Barking ** Municipal Borough of Barking, a historical local government dist ...
Council. He chose to go for Christmas holiday in
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
. He got a brochure from Swan Tours Ltd, which for Mörlialp, Giswil said the attractions were,
House Party A house party is a type of party where people gather at the residence of the party's host. Organization A house party might be organized several months or just a few hours in advance. News of a party may be spread by personal invitations, ...
Centre with special resident host. ... Mörlialp is a most wonderful little resort on a sunny plateau ... Up there you will find yourself in the midst of beautiful alpine scenery, which in winter becomes a wonderland of sun, snow and ice, with a wide variety of fine ski-runs, a skating rink and exhilarating
toboggan A toboggan is a simple sled traditionally used by children. It is also a traditional form of transport used by the Innu and Cree of northern Canada. In modern times, it is used on snow to carry one or more people (often children) down a hill o ...
run ... Why did we choose the Hotel Krone ... mainly and most of all because of the '
Gemütlichkeit ''Gemütlichkeit'' () is a German-language word used to convey the idea of a state or feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Other qualities encompassed by the term include cosiness, peace of mind, and a sense of belonging and well ...
' and friendly welcome you will receive from Herr and Frau Weibel. ... The Hotel Krone has its own Alphütte Bar which will be open several evenings a week. ... No doubt you will be in for a great time, when you book this houseparty holiday ... Mr. Weibel, the charming owner, speaks
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national i ...
In a special yellow box it said,
Swans House Party in Mörlialp. All these House Party arrangements are included in the price of your holiday. Welcome party on arrival. Afternoon tea and cake for 7 days. Swiss dinner by candlelight.
Fondue Fondue (, , ) is a Swiss melted cheese dish served in a communal pot ( ''caquelon'' or fondue pot) over a portable stove () heated with a candle or spirit lamp, and eaten by dipping bread into the cheese using long-stemmed forks. It was promote ...
party. Yodeler evening. Chali farewell party in the 'Alphütte Bar'. Service of representative.
It also stated, "Hire of Skis, Sticks and Boots ... Ski Tuition ... 12 days £11.10." Mr Jarvis booked 15 days with a ski pack in August 1969 for £63.45, including Christmas supplement. He flew from
Gatwick Gatwick Airport (), also known as London Gatwick , is a major international airport near Crawley, West Sussex, England, south of Central London. In 2021, Gatwick was the third-busiest airport by total passenger traffic in the UK, after He ...
to Zurich on December 20, 1969, and returned on January 3, 1970. He found the "house party" was only 13 people in the first week and none in the second week. Mr Weibel could not speak English. As Lord Denning MR said,
So there was Mr. Jarvis, in the second week, in this hotel with no house party at all, and no one could speak English, except himself. He was very disappointed, too, with the ski-ing. It was some distance away at Giswil. There were no ordinary length skis. There were only mini-skis, about 3 ft. long. So he did not get his ski-ing as he wanted to. In the second week he did get some longer skis for a couple of days, but then, because of the boots, his feet got rubbed and he could not continue even with the long skis. So his ski-ing holiday, from his point of view, was pretty well ruined. There were also no Swiss cakes, just crisps and little dry nut cakes. The "yodeler" was a local man who came in work clothes and sang four or five songs quickly. The "Alphütte Bar" was empty and only open one evening.
Mr Jarvis sued for breach of contract. The trial judge awarded £31.72, as the difference between the value paid and the value of the service received (half of what was paid for). Mr Jarvis appealed for more.


Lord Denning MR held that Mr Jarvis could recover damages for the cost of his holiday, but also damages for "disappointment, the distress, the upset and frustration caused by the breach." He said old limitations on damages for distress and disappointment are "out of date". Accordingly, £125 was awarded. Edmund Davies LJ and Stephenson LJ concurred.


''Jarvis v Swans Tours Ltd'' has been called "the '' Donoghue v Stevenson'' of Tourism Law".

See also

* Measure of damages in English law *'' Addis v Gramophone Co Ltd'' 909AC 488 *'' Jackson v Horizon Holidays Ltd'' 9753 All ER 92 *'' Farley v Skinner''
001 001, O01, or OO1 may refer to: *1 (number), a number, a numeral *001, fictional British agent, see 00 Agent *001, former emergency telephone number for the Norwegian fire brigade (until 1986) *AM-RB 001, the code-name for the Aston Martin Valkyri ...


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*Yates (1973) 36 '' Modern Law Review'' 535, who refers to the damages in this case as 'exemplary' rather than for non-pecuniary loss.

External links

Full text of judgment on BailiiMörlialp today on the Swiss tourism website
Lord Denning cases English remedy case law 1973 in British law Court of Appeal (England and Wales) cases 1973 in case law