ACTA's Code of Ethics and Standards encourages members to provide the highest quality of travel services to the public and stipulates guidelines for relations between ACTA members. Membership in ACTA is a sign of this commitment to the highest standards of professional competence and integrity and merits the confidence of the travelling public.
It is the responsibility of ACTA members to comply with the following Code of Ethics.
- Respect. ACTA members will respect all people and treat them with equality and dignity.
- Integrity. ACTA members will refrain from disparaging the business practices of another member, transaction or service, and render any opinion with strict professional integrity and courtesy. ACTA members will refrain from taking advantage of the former affiliation of a new employee or independent travel agent through the use of lists or records that are unlawfully in the possession of the said new employee or independent travel agent; nor shall they take advantage of bookings made through another member by the said new employee or independent travel agent prior to the commencement of their new employment or contract as an independent travel agent.
- Transparent. ACTA members will make every effort to be clear and transparent in providing quotes to clients. ACTA members will refrain from carrying on business under a name and style or in a fashion that is intended to, is likely to, or in fact does confuse the public or the industry as to the identity, association, association, affiliation or qualities of that member. ACTA members will refrain from deceptive practices.
- Compliance. ACTA members will discharge, in good faith, their responsibilities to ACTA, other Members, suppliers, clients, customers, creditors, government agencies and any others to whom they may acquire obligations during the course of operating their business.
- Confidentiality. ACTA members will treat every client transaction confidentially and not disclose any information without permission of the client, unless required by law.
ACTA Retail, Certified and Independent Travel Agent Members agree that, when dealing with the public, they will use their best endeavors to apply ACTA’s Code of Best Practices to the maximum extent that is objectively consistent with their business type (traditional storefront/office, host agency, online travel agency (OTA), or otherwise).
In this regard, ACTA Members agree that wherever appropriate they will comply with the following Code of Best Practices.
- ACTA members will make every effort to ensure that accurate information is provided to enable their clients to exercise an informed judgment in making their choice of travel services. ACTA members will ensure that the documents relating to the travel reservations made by the client through the agency are checked and delivered in a timely manner and in adherence to provincial requirements.
- ACTA members will: i) provide clients with generalized information with regard to passports and visas for the journey that they are booking and recommend that they seek the advice of a visa professional or a legal advisor in respect of any personal circumstances or questions that they may have regarding their journey; ii) refer clients to resources provided by the Canadian government relating to health requirements or risks of travel outside of Canada and recommend that they consult with a medical professional for any questions or advice relating to their personal circumstances; iii) recommend that clients take travel insurance to cover medical, cancellation, interruption and other mishaps that may occur prior to or during their journey and, if so requested, make available the details of the travel insurance offered by the travel agency and in accordance to provincial regulations; iv) advise clients, at the time of booking, that additional supplier and agency charges or fees may become payable in respect of service requests made after booking and that cancellation fees and penalties may become applicable in the event of the client cancelling any reservation made by the client. In addition, the terms and conditions of the main suppliers will be made available to clients before booking; v) disclose in advance of counselling the existence of any service charges to be assessed to the client by the agency in respect of such counselling.
- ACTA members will respond promptly to consumer complaints, seek support, resources, and use best endeavors to resolve complaints effectively and efficiently. They shall seek to engage independent legal counsel when required.
- Accountability. ACTA members will notify the relevant supplier as soon as possible upon notification by a client that they wish to cancel a reservation for accommodation or other services.
- ACTA Members will make appropriate training available to their employees or independent travel agents engaged in the sale of travel services to the public or as may be required to meet provisions of any applicable regulatory requirements relating to training or continuing education.
- ACTA members will comply in all respects with ACTA’s Code of Ethics.
RELATIONS BETWEEN RETAIL AND ALLIED MEMBERS*
When dealing with another ACTA member,
- both Retail and Allied members shall treat as binding any accepted commitment for accommodations or other travel services as between them (subject to the terms and conditions of sale of the relevant Allied Member that may apply);
- Retail Members shall notify an Allied Member as soon as possible after being notified by a client that they wish to cancel a reservation for accommodation or other travel services made by the Retail Member with that Allied Member;
- Retail Members shall refrain from suggesting or making duplicate bookings with any Allied Member;
- Retail members shall comply with all reasonable published terms and rules of Allied Members or regulations of the Retail Members’ licensing authorities;
- Retail Members shall implement such product training as may reasonably be required from time to time by any Allied Member as a condition for the sale of that Allied Member’s travel services or products by such Retail Members;
- Both Retail and Allied Members shall promptly remit payments owing to other members (whether as payment for travel services, commission or otherwise) in full when they fall due;
- the parties to any dispute between Retail Members or between a Retail Member and an Allied Member shall, if so requested by one of the parties or by ACTA, seek an amicable resolution of the dispute by discussion, in-person meetings or mediation; to facilitate the amicable resolution of a dispute, all members who are party to any dispute shall afford to the others an opportunity to make a full investigation of any written complaint, grievance or claim (whether by a client or otherwise) before taking action against the other member or members, shall process any complaint, grievance, claim or refunds within thirty days of notification (or provide written reasons for any further delay) and shall follow any other reasonable procedural guidelines as may be provided by ACTA to facilitate amicable resolution of the dispute.
*An Allied Member (Travel Supplier Membership) is a membership category comprised of companies or other organizations in the travel industry which are not travel agencies but wish to join ACTA to support the efforts and connect with this very important distribution channel.
RELATIONS BETWEEN CERTIFIED OR INDEPENDENT TRAVEL AGENT AND EMPLOYER/HOST AGENCY MEMBERS
- Abide by formal or informal practices, policies and procedures, or other such statement of principle by the employer or host agency.
- Obtain the employer or host agency’s consent prior to using his or her position to gain advantage for self, family or friend.