AFTA seeks to reassure Carnival

AFTA seeks to reassure Carnival
By admin

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents will meet with Carnival Australia in a bid to convince the company that its fears over travel agent licensing and consumer financial protection reform are groundless.

Talks will take place following the release of a Carnival document — marked confidential but mistakenly posted on the Consumer Affairs website — in which the cruise line warned it may be forced to bypass agents and sell direct to the public should the Travel Compensation Fund be wound down.

Carnival said it was concerned that the lack of a consumer refund scheme and any meaningful oversight of a travel agents’ financial health — a task currently carried out by the TCF — increased its own financial exposure.

AFTA, which has been pushing for reform, was unaware of Carnival’s stance until the document, a response to the Travel Industry Transition Plan was made public late last week.

Carnival was understood to be angry after learning the confidential document had been released. It was hastily taken down from the consumer affairs site.

AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury said he was keen to work through Carnival’s concerns.

No one wanted to see the cruise line take agents out their distribution channel, he told Travel Today.

“I’m sure Carnival doesn’t what that to happen either,” Westbury said. “We will hold talks, try to understand what the problems are and how we best create a transaction arrangement that will make that problem go away.”

Carnival acting as the merchant could be one way of alleviating its concerns, Westbury suggested.

He added that a new voluntary accreditation scheme could provide some form of financial checks.


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