Richard Smart, President and CEO of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), joins Nina Slawek on the virtual Pink Couch.
In a state-of-the-union style discussion, Smart describes what travel advisors have gone through over the past 18 months as “hell”, seeing many registrants move to zero-revenue during the lockdown. So too did TICO who negotiated financial support from the provincial government of Ontario. In return, the registrar was able to provide advisors a “fee waiver”.
As to the future, Smart is optimistic about Canada’s travel industry, saying that “the reports of pent-up demand are very true,” according to two recent TICO surveys. Of note are the results indicating consumers have moved from being price focused to safety and experience minded.
Coming This Fall
TICO will be holding “registrant roundtables” to review its funding model, including its compensation fund. This is an important development which Open Jaw is following closely as it may lead to a consumer funded model.