Carnival seeks reform input amid TCF demise

Carnival seeks reform input amid TCF demise
By admin

Carnival Australia will seek input into the industry reform working group after its fears that the Travel Compensation Fund may be scrapped were realised.

The cruise line said last month it may be forced to adopt a direct sell strategy if the TCF was axed and if no alternative compensation scheme was drawn up (Travel Today, November 1).

Following last week's decision by consumer affairs ministers, Carnival said it wanted to be involved with establishing a new structure.

"Following the recent decision, Carnival Australia wanted to be part of the solution through its involvement in the industry working group to develop an alternative program to protect travellers," a spokesman said.

"The industry has made it clear that it wants to come up with a suitable alternative and we will be working cooperatively with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents as part of the working group."

It was unclear whether Carnival would have a seat on the six-strong Travel Industry Transition Plan Working Group, which meets for the first time tomorrow. But even if not, close involvement is inevitable.

Carnival said in its submission on the TITP that without the TCF financial oversight of agents "we may find it more attractive to drive direct sales".

"It seems to us the practical effects of removing the Fund and the licensing requirements will be to pass the risk of travel agent insolvency on to operators," it said. "This will inevitably mean operators such as us will need to reassess the ways in which we use agents as a distribution channel."

Chief executive Ann Sherry later described such an approach as the "worse case scenario".

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