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The Government should draw up regulations requiring travel agents to pass clients’ money to an operator within two business days of receiving the money, should the TCF be wound down, Carnival Australia has argued.

Alternatively, money should be held in a trust account, with ‚Äútrust account inspectors” recruited to police the schemes. The inspectors could be funded from TCF reserves, Carnival said.

The proposals were included in the cruise lines submission to the draft Travel Industry Transition Plan.

‚ÄúIt seems to us as though some form of regulation dealing with the handling of consumer‚Äôs money is necessary,” Carnival said.

In another suggestion in a move to protect operators, Carnival said agents should be required to hold insurance that meets certain minimum requirements, including fidelity coverage.

‚ÄúThe Fund reserves could be used to finance inspectors, as well as an advertising and communications campaign advising consumers that they should only pay money to agents with the necessary coverage,” Carnival said.

Proponents of reform have argued there is sufficient safeguards under existing consumer and corporations law to protect consumers. But Carnival argued that such laws ‚Äúwill be of little assistance if the agent has no resources to pay a compensation order”.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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