TORONTO --In December, the Ontario government advised ACTA and the industry of “the status of potential changes to the regulation under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 (TIA).”
Despite lengthy and costly lobbying efforts by ACTA in a coalition with CATO, there is apparently no intention of revising the funding model for the Compensation Fund –and, in fact, far from reducing the regulatory burden on Ontario registrants, the government is heaping on more regulations including:
- Registration of individual travel agents linked to continuing education requirements
- Additional disclosure and advertising rules
- Additional compliance tools for TICO
There is some reference to reducing financial reporting requirements but details as yet are not clear.
“We have asked the Ministry for clarification on the points in the announcement. And while ACTA has been heard on removing some of the financial and administrative burdens ---we are extremely disappointed and in fact, angry, that there is no mention of introducing a consumer pay model such as the one in Quebec,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA. “This is inexcusable that after all our efforts advocating on this issue for years, along with the research that shows the funding model is unsustainable, that the government has ignored this input.”
She added: “This announcement means more regulations, more TICO staff, more burden on an over - regulated industry. And worst of all, to pay for all of this additional red tape more money will need to be moved from the compensation fund to cover the costs of increased administration activities or—even worse, TICO registrant fees will need to be increased --- since there is no apparent intention of addressing consumer contributions.”
“ACTA immediately reached out to the government directly advising that the proposed regulations drafted under the previous government do not address our immediate priority concerns and in fact adds more regulatory burden. Some ACTA members have shared with us how they have had to move their business out of the province and others who are having to consider shutting down simply due to the regulatory cost of doing business in this Province,” said Paradis. “We must reduce this burden now, as what is being proposed will result in more travel agencies either moving to other provinces, or shutting their doors.”
The government indicated it will hold consultations in 2020, but to date, no information on the new proposed regulations have been provided and no consultation dates has been set as yet.
ACTA calls for agents to keep up letter writing campaign
ACTA is asking industry members to continue to keep up pressure on the government in a letter writing campaign expressing the need for Compensation Fund reform to their MPPs and the government. Letter templates can be obtained online from the home page at acta.ca or by clicking here.
Anyone who would like more information or wants to get involved can contact:
Wendy Paradis, ACTA President
Phone: 905-282-9294 ext. 121
Heather Craig-Peddie, ACTA Vice President of Advocacy and Industry Relations
Phone: 905-282-9294 ext. 122
ACTA is the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, a national member-based trade association that represents the retail travel sector of Canada’s tourism industry. Over 12,000 Travel Agents across the country work in our member Travel Agencies representing more than 80% of the travel business booked through a Travel Agency in Canada.
ACTA is an industry led, non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of Members with governments, regulatory agencies and travel suppliers in the best interests of the retail travel sector and consumers who benefit from the professional services provided by our Members. Learn more at www.acta.ca