All-In Pricing Among Proposed Changes To ON’s Travel Industry Act

Open Jaw

If proposed changes to Ontario’s Travel Industry Act are approved, travel wholesalers and agents will be required to display the total price – including all fees, levies and other charges – when advertising travel services.

Currently, the regulatory requirements provide flexibility for registrants when advertising the price for travel services. Prices can be set out as either:

  • the total price for the travel services including all fees, levies and other charges (i.e. “all-in” pricing); or
  • the price for the travel services excluding fees, levies and other charges, along with: (1) a separate itemized list of the cost of each fee/levy/charge or (2) the total cost of the fees/levies/charges.

As a result of this flexibility, as well as changes to federal aviation requirements to mandate all-in-pricing when advertising airfares, consumers have expressed confusion and concerns with a lack of price comparability for packaged travel services (e.g., bundling airfares with other features such as accommodation or tours).

Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is seeking feedback on the proposed changes.

The Ministry says the proposed amendments are intended to “reduce regulatory burden on lower risk businesses and harmonize requirements for displaying or advertising the price of travel services.” 

If approved and implemented, the proposed regulatory amendments would:

  • Exempt businesses that offer one day tours from the requirements under TIA;
  • Modify specific registration and operating requirements to allow for flexibility for lower risk businesses; and
  • Require all businesses registered under the Travel Industry Act to display the total price to consumers, including all fees, levies and other charges, when advertising travel services.

Details of the proposed changes and information on how to provide feedback can be found here.

Harry Schneider - November 6, 2015 @ 10:11
the situation now reminds you of a mid eastern fish market !

Cathy Partridge - November 5, 2015 @ 11:11
Or how about there being some kind of government watchdog to confirm that what is being charged as taxes, fees and surcharges are actually that. How is it that WestJet Vacations has a tax of $118 on a package holiday, while the other tour operators charge $431? And when surcharges for fuel, for example go on, why do they never come off, regardless of the price fluctuations for said fuels? And why is the cost of fuel not already part of the price?

Darren Swidler - November 5, 2015 @ 09:11
If the Ministry is serious about protecting consumers and lowering the burden on registrants then why don’t they do a comprehensive review of the Travel industry Act and Regulation 26/05 including the need for review engagements and audits? The industry has undergone massive change since 1997 and the legislation is out-of-date. The proposed exemption is merely an attempt to help 1 company which received media attention. Registrants paid for 2 TICO executives to travel to Ottawa to meet with this unlicensed company in the office of Yasir Naqvi, the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Government House Leader. Now this company is being provided with an exemption. Registrants and consumers deserve far better than these games.

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