David McCaig, ACTA President and COO is calling on federal Transport Minister John Baird to develop a tougher approach for travel companies that mislead consumers. ACTA wants safeguards such as bond programs for tour operator start-up companies. The association is also demanding a national consumer compensation fund to help repatriate Canadians stranded around the globe by the closure of travel suppliers.
McCaig is also warning Canadian consumers to beware of too-cheap vacation deals from travel companies that dodge rules and regulations. According to McCaig, a travel company might move to or set up in a Province without regulation to avoid ‘colourful business histories’ and to avoid the rules in the Provinces that do regulate travel agencies.
ACTA has refused to name names, but would seem to be refering to the re-surfacing of Go Travel Direct as Go Travel South, which has chosen not to operate from its former base in Ontario, a regulated Province. The new version of Go Travel has registered in Nova Scotia and plans to operate from Manitoba, both unregulated Provinces.
McCaig also had a warning for consumers searching for bargains in tough economic times pointing to several closings of tour operators and airlines, stating, ‘Their customers can tell you about the supposedly cheap vacations that turned into expensive nightmares.’