CRITICAL WINDOW

ACTA’s Urgent Call to Ontario Travel Agencies: 'Your Industry Needs Your Voice’

In response to the recent closure of TICO's Funding Framework and Fee Review consultations, ACTA has issued a pressing message asserting the need for immediate action from Ontario travel agencies.

ACTA is unequivocal in its condemnation of the framework, stating on 14NOV, "The Ontario regulatory system is broken," emphasizing that the proposed changes are merely superficial adjustments to an inherently flawed system.

ACTA has publicly and repeatedly stated that the TICO proposals are cosmetic changes.

"The proposed funding framework is not based on the risk profile of the registrant, and the Consumer is not legislated to contribute, leaving the burden squarely on the shoulders of Ontario travel agencies and tour operators."

ACTA's Urgent Call to Action

ACTA's is urging action on the part of Ontario travel agency registrants to support its advocacy for a modernized and fair Ontario Travel Industry Act. The organization provides a template for agencies to send letters to their Members of Provincial Parliament, the Premier, and key Cabinet Ministers, with a submission deadline of 27NOV 2023.

ACTA plans to meet with senior Ontario government officials on 30NOV, 2023, and the submitted letters will reinforce its message.

"The window to change the system is open now, and it could be years before it is opened again. ACTA is urgently requesting all Ontario travel agency registrants to support its efforts and advocate to the Ontario government to finally fix this 40-year-old legislation and its regulations, which in no way reflect the environment of the Ontario travel industry today.

"Agencies can click the link below to use ACTA's quick and easy template to send an impactful letter to their Member of Provincial Parliament with copies to the Premier and key Cabinet Ministers; click here.

"This is a very powerful way to connect with decision makers. ACTA members are encouraged to do so and share a copy with ACTA at advocacy@acta.ca."

Background

As reported on 06OCT 2023, TICO unveiled recommendations to overhaul its funding framework. TICO claims these proposals strike a balance between consumer needs and industry requirements. However, ACTA remains unconvinced, maintaining that the suggested changes are mere "band-aids on a broken system."

"Overall, we find TICO's proposals to be essentially cosmetic changes," said ACTA President Wendy Paradis. 

ACTA underscores that the beneficiaries should bear the Compensation Fund contributions and that registrant fees should be tailored to individual risk profiles rather than a blanket approach.

Moreover, ACTA raises concerns about risk factors associated with various entities, such as registrants accepting cash or cheques, unregulated tour operators, and federally regulated airlines and cruise lines residing outside Canada. The organization advocates for a comprehensive approach that considers these risk factors rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.

TICO's five key proposals are as follows:

Compensation Fund:

  1. Decrease Compensation Fund payments to $0.05/$1,000 from $0.25/$1,000 of Ontario Gross Sales.
  2. Remove non-contributing end-supplier coverage (airlines and cruise lines) from the Compensation Fund, subject to government consideration and decision-making.
  3. Double the maximum Compensation Fund payment per person to $10,000 from $5,000 for consumers, subject to government consideration and decision-making.

Registration Renewal Fees:

  1. Recalibrate registrant renewal fees with modernized and more equitable fee bands.

Other:

  1. Institute new late filing fees to encourage timely submission of required documentation and ensure efficient processing.

More information on ACTA's website. 

 

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