Ontario Government To Review Travel Industry Act

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Beginning next month, the Ontario government will seek public feedback as part of a comprehensive review of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05.

TICO, the designated administrative authority that administers and enforces the Travel Industry Act, says the goal of the review is to update and modernize consumer protection legislation, strengthen consumer protection and reduce the burden on business.

The industry has been asking for a review for some time, TICO says, and the organization says it is looking forward to working with the Ministry and engaging stakeholders to ensure a strong consumer protection framework for the future.

“This review will build on past improvements and provide effective solutions for today’s marketplace where e-commerce now dominates the travel industry,” says Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Government & Consumer Services. The Ministry cited TICO’s recent annual consumer survey which found that approximately 73% of travel bookings were made online in 2015 in comparison to minimal online bookings in 2002, when the TIA was last updated. “I look forward to hearing the recommendations that come out of the public and stakeholder consultations that will help strengthen consumer protection and reduce burden on business in Ontario,” Lalonde added.

“We are pleased that Ontario is moving forward with this review as it will help improve protection for consumers buying travel services in the province,” said TICO CEO Richard Smart. “Travel industry support for a review is high as many players recognize the need for an updated framework that reflects the current reality in the marketplace.”Minor changes to the regulation under the Act will come into effect 01JUL. One-day tour operators, such as winery and beer tours, will now be exempt from all requirements under the Act, including the need to register and contribute to the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund.

Not-for-profit organizations that promote tourism in Ontario may also benefit from greater flexibility in meeting registration and operating requirements related to security deposits and working capital.

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