The Ontario government has approved several amendments to the Travel Industry Act, 2002 regulations as posted to the TICO website, which will come into effect July 1st, 2010.
The main changes are as follows:
– Editorial removal of CITC as the party providing credentials to travel counsellors and supervisors/managers who have passed the TICO (the administrative authority) examinations
– An obligation for a registrant to give TICO no less that 10 days advance notice (or as soon as “practicable”) if the registrant plans to cease operations
– Restricting the registrar from making any information available to the public “if it is financial information relating to a person or the business of a person and the person could reasonably expect that the information would be kept confidential.”
– An obligation for a registrant which acts as both a retailer and a wholesaler to provide financial statements for the combined total of all sales
The amendments filed May 14th can be accessed online along with the accompanying letter from the Minister of Consumer Services, Sophia Aggelonitis.
ARTA Canada has come ont strongly against the new amendment protecting registrants from financial disclosure and against TICO for not communicating anything about the forthcoming amendments at their series of recent Town Hall Meetings or in any direct communications with industry stakeholders saying TICO did not “properly communicate with travel agencies about new regulations seemingly approved for effectiveness on 01 July 2010. With little more than a three sentence posting in the advisory section of its web site.”
“It is wholly unacceptable for TICO and the government to claim an obligation of consumer protection when they seek to protect financially failing or financially delinquent registrants from public scrutiny,” declared Bishins in his press release on the ammendments.