Travel Industry Act Review: Phase 2 Report
Bill or Act:
Travel Industry Act, 2002
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) is seeking your input on proposals for possible changes to the Travel Industry Act, 2002 (TIA) and O. Reg. 26/05, which govern travel agents and wholesalers.
MGCS has been undertaking a detailed review of TIA to consider how the marketplace has evolved since TIA was last reviewed in 2002 and whether reforms are needed to better protect consumers who purchase travel services in Ontario. Some rules may be outdated and place an unnecessary burden on businesses that sell travel services in Ontario. The proposals for possible changes are intended to:
Strengthen consumer protection;
Reduce the regulatory burden on registrants; and
Improve regulatory efficiency.
Proposals for possible changes include:
Changing the classes of registrants in order to create a class for travel sellers (currently travel agent and wholesaler) and another class for individual travel counsellors;
Strengthening advertising requirements for travel agents and wholesalers who are based outside of the province, but are targeting their advertising of travel services to Ontarians, by requiring them to follow the province's rules regarding representation (advertising) regardless of where they are located;
Introducing new disclosure requirements for registrants, including displaying the TICO logo in a prominent manner on all advertisements for travel services prior to purchase, and requiring that they disclose additional information to consumers, such as coverage available under the Travel Industry Compensation Fund;
Amending registrant requirements to update the financial reporting, trust accounting, working capital, security deposit, and place of business requirements;
Granting the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) the authority to issue administrative monetary penalties, and expanding TICO's inspection powers with respect to non-registrants; and
Enabling the potential development of an expanded Travel Industry Compensation Fund with contributions directly from consumers subject to additional research and consultations with consumers to determine whether to introduce an expanded model.
The ministry welcomes feedback and encourages anyone interested to provide comments on the proposals outlined in the Phase 2 report.
Please note that the ministry previously published a Phase 1 Summary report which outlines consumer and travel industry stakeholder feedback about the issues with TIA. The summary report can be found at: Ontario.ca/TravelActReview
June 26, 2017
Comments Due Date:
July 24, 2017
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Consumer Policy and Liaison Branch
DAA Policy and Oversight Unit
56 Wellesley St. West, 6th Floor
Toronto ON M7A1C1