Ontario Getting Rid of Travel Sticker Shock


Ontario plans to ensure the price is right when it comes to paying for vacations.

Jan. 1 will see the province enact what’s being billed as “all-in pricing” for travel, eliminating hidden charges, and providing what TICO president Richard Smart says will be “consistent guidelines for the travel industry when advertising and promoting the price of travel services.”

The move applies to ads quoting the price of travel services from registered travel agents in Ontario and wholesalers.

TICO says all-in pricing reduces confusion, thereby benefiting consumers and businesses alike.

“The change will… help all consumers understand the cost of their valued vacation,” Smart said during a Dec. 13 Toronto news conference with Ontario minister of government and consumer services Marie-France Lalonde.

Smart said the travel industry “has been very supportive in general” of the upcoming change.

Lalonde said her department will monitor the industry to ensure it follows the new guidelines while conceding current travel industry brochures promoting 2017 travel were printed before the industry knew of the new regulations. Those brochures present “challenges,” she conceded.

“We’re willing to work with our registrants to make sure this is a smooth transition,” Smart said.

He said those who don’t follow the new guidelines come January will be dealt with on a “case-by-case” basis and TICO will “work with them to bring them into compliance.” He didn’t say if there would be penalties for those who fail to comply.

Meanwhile, Smart said TICO is continuing to review Ontario’s Travel Act “as a whole.”

Pictured are TICO chairman Jean Hebert, Lalonde, Smart and Ontario MPP Arthur Potts.