Travel Industry Act - general regulation

Establishes the detailed requirements to register and operate as a travel agent and/or wholesaler in Ontario.


Overview

Requirements in the regulation under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 ensure that when customers book a travel service through a registered travel agent or travel wholesaler in Ontario, they:

  • know the total price, including all fees
  • get a receipt from the agent or wholesaler
  • are notified and offered a refund or comparable alternate travel services if there are certain changes to the travel services
  • are protected when they make a prepaid deposit
  • are reimbursed for eligible claims out of the Travel Industry Compensation Fund

Purpose

To protect consumers purchasing travel services.

What we've heard

4 Improve it

3 Eliminate it

1 Keep it the same



6 comments


Al Errington (a business owner)

Created 4 months 3 weeks ago

Eliminate it

The act does not protect consumers very well which was what it was purported to do when it was developed. It is actually written to protect travel agencies which is a dying industry anyway because of the internet. Strengthen the consumer protection act instead.

At the same time we really need a tourism industry licence.


mcewensa (a business owner)

Created 5 months 4 days ago

Improve it

This act is the epitome of red tape for small operators selling trips/tours that occur in Ontario. It seems to treat small, local tour companies with relatively low risk of harming consumers the same as those businesses conducting massive sales of high-risk, difficult-to-regulate, international trip destinations. To be able to sell one's own trips/tours in Ontario, a small operator must either become a TICO-registered travel agency or find an agency willing to sell the trips on their behalf. Using a second party is usually the only real option, as becoming registered requires a $10,000 deposit and several other large costs, and a not-so-transparent approval process. But using a second party to sell the trips makes completing sales difficult, adds costs, increases time and decreases efficiency, and results in a loss of autonomy for the small business owner. All of this has a net effect of reducing small business travel industry in Ontario, which then in turn reduces tourism opportunities in Ontario.

Ideas for reform could include: 1. a complete exemption for small local operators, up to a certain sales volume - utilization of the Consumer Protection Act to protect consumers rather than TICO; 2. a different category of registration for operators who provide tours/trips/packages in Ontario, one that has much less red tape, less complex registration and financial reporting structures and a smaller deposit to the compensation fund.


booorka (a manager / supervisor)

Created 5 months 1 week ago

Improve it

TICO license is a tremendous entry barrier for many Ontario operators, making it impossible to start small, and adding significant overhead costs. It is also extremely unfair to Ontario businesses, as operators from other provinces can still operate inside Ontario or even re-sell Ontario-based travel services without being subjected to TICO regulations. This puts smaller tourism businesses in this province in a disadvantage.

I believe small businesses should be exempt from TICO requirements as long as their sales fall under a certain threshold . This would not affect bigger players that have resources to deal with deposits, fees, and arduous and costly reporting requirements, and will spark newcomers and innovation in the sector. This will keep Ontarians protected in case of another large bankruptcy, level the playing field for smaller businesses and create a balance for the most public good.


MCCAnita (a business owner)

Created 6 months 1 week ago

Eliminate it

TICO only protects such a small portion of travel and is not trackable. Add additional costs for travel purchased in Ontario. The general public do not understand what is covered and is often misled. There is enough insurance providers in Ontario to buy coverage for any trip.


Hubert M. (an employee)

Created 6 months 1 week ago

Improve it

In order to boost travel and provide equal opportunity to all citizens to travel within Canada all provinces should tie up with corporates to provide holiday packages to employees at affordable no prices so that Canadians can travel if they want a getaway from the routine thus promoting wellness and mental and physical health.


jeanie brummitt (a business owner)

Created 6 months 2 weeks ago

Keep it the same

Our Business attracted tourists from more than 32 countries last year yet tourism is not considered an EXPORT with respect to government grants. Tourists bring money from outside Canada, they 'BUY' a Canadian experience, they eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels, buy fuel and spend international dollars. Tourism is a significant contributor to Canada's GDP.
I would like to see the government support tourism industry businesses as heartily as they support the manufacturing, research and technology industry. Please change the grant criteria to include tourism as an EXPORT.
Thanks so much,
Perth Outfitters