TICO Takes Care Of Business At AGM

During is 2019 AGM, the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) update registrants attending on its accomplishments during the previous fiscal year. And one of the key themes at this year’s AGM was the continuous evolution of the travel industry.

“We live and work in an exciting era, one in which change is a constant and where innovation is increasingly important,” observed TICO’s president and CEO, Richard Smart.

“The ever-changing landscape of the travel industry is what makes TICO’s role so important – to ensure consumers remain confident with their travel purchases, wherever they go, regardless of purpose or destination,” Smart said.

Updates from TICO’s chair, Jean Hébert and Smart focused on three key topics:

  • TICO continues its collaboration with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services on proposed regulatory updates for the sector. TICO’s focus continues to be enhancing consumer protection, while reducing burden on businesses and increasing regulatory efficiencies. TICO will continue to update Ontario’s travel sector as further information becomes available.
  • TICO’s latest consumer awareness campaign reached new heights with a predominantly digital campaign that included video, online ads, placements at Yonge Dundas Square and Toronto’s PATH network, and more. The star of the campaign was a life-sized Asterisk, representing any missed details that could derail a consumer’s travel plans. The marketing campaign encourages consumers to book their travel with a TICO-registered travel agency or website. Go to https://www.youtube.com/user/ticoinfo to check out the latest videos.
  • A prior governance review recommended reducing TICO’s Board of Directors from 15 to 11 members. That change took effect following the June 25 AGM. TICO welcomed three new Directors and said farewell to seven outgoing Directors.

Following TICO’s AGM, the Board of Directors named Jean Hébert as Chair and Scott Stewart as the Vice-Chair of the Board. Both Hébert and Stewart are Ministerial appointees to TICO’s Board. The Chair appointment is for three years, while the Vice-Chair appointment is for one year.


The following individuals were appointed to TICO’’s Board of Directors:

  • Ted Goldenberg – Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA)
  • Sherry Scott – Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA)
  • Scott Stewart – Ministerial appointee
  • Leanna Villella – Ministerial appointee

The AGM was also an opportunity to recognize the commitment and impact of seven outgoing Directors:

  • Khatera Akbari
  • Jim Diebel
  • Louise Gardiner
  • Warren Kanagaratnam
  • Lorraine Nowina
  • Richard Vanderlubbe
  • Brett Walker

“Directors make a lasting contribution to TICO and to Ontario’s travel industry more broadly,” said TICO Chair Jean Hébert. ”I would like to extend my gratitude to TICO’’s Board of Directors, and to our outgoing Directors, who have shown tremendous commitment to oversight of TICO and its important consumer protection mandate.”


In other news, TICO’s Board of Directors approved a payment from the Travel Industry Compensation Fund in the amount of $4,270 to assist three consumers who did not receive travel services for which they had paid.

The payment was due to the failure of Sinorama Holidays Inc., which voluntarily terminated its TICO registration on Aug. 8, 2018.

This follows a Fund payment that was approved on May 28, 2019 for $249,490 to assist 135 consumers. Additionally, at the time of Sinorama’s failure, TICO assisted 136 consumers with immediate departure and trip completion (repatriation) provisions, issuing payments of $68,083.82 from the Travel Industry Compensation Fund.

This included a payment of $12,541.66 for trip completion to assist six consumers already in destination at the time of the failure, and a payment of $55,542.16 to assist 130 consumers who had immediate departures to various destinations.

This stage of the closure is now complete and all consumers with eligible claims have had their payments approved.

The Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund is wholly-financed by the industry to protect consumers who do not receive the travel services for which they paid, due to the insolvency or bankruptcy of an Ontario-registered travel agency or travel wholesaler or due to the cessation of an end supplier airline or cruise line.

The Fund only covers consumers who have booked through an Ontario-registered travel agent and it is administered by the Travel Industry Council of Ontario, a not-for-profit corporation.

Go to www.tico.ca for more.