Travel Agent Appreciation

Ontario Set To Review, Update Travel Industry Act

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Starting next month, Ontario will be seeking public feedback to further strengthen protections for consumers buying travel services in the province.

The marketplace has evolved and the way consumers buy travel has changed since the Travel Industry Act was last reviewed in 2002. Outdated rules also place unnecessary burden on businesses offering travel services in Ontario.

New changes will come into effect on July 1 that will reduce the burden on businesses and demonstrate Ontario’s continued response to changes in the marketplace. 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.

Strengthening consumer protection and reducing burden on businesses is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs.

“This review will build on past improvements and provide effective solutions for today’s marketplace where e-commerce now dominates the travel industry. 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,” said Marie-France Lalonde, minister of Government and Consumer Services.

Richard Smart, president of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario, 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. 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.”

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