SDSG – The province is looking and putting tighter controls on the travel industry.
Also hanging in the balance is the continuation of an extra fee when you book your vacation through a travel agent.
The Ontario government is reforming the Travel Industry Act which, among another things, would give the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) the power to enter the offices of travel agents and inspect their paperwork.
It would also give the arm’s length agency the power to level fines.
The law was last updated 15 years ago and doesn’t take into account the changing marketplace for travel bookings. According to TICO, 79 per cent of vacations were booked online last year.
There’s also questions over the continuation of the Travel Industry Compensation Fund.
The fee is used as a last resort to compensate travellers for certain situations, for instance, if a travel agency goes belly-up. But many in the travel industry believe people are being covered through travel insurance on their credit cards.
“Consumers and businesses must have a say in how they search, advertise, present, buy, sell and deliver travel services,” local MPP Jim McDonell said. “These regulatory changes often do not receive sufficient public input to be meaningful. It is important for anyone who has any interest in travel to give their feedback.”
You can have a say, until July 24, by filling out the online form or via email at TravelIndustryAct@ontario.ca