TravelManagers lays out consumer protection intentions

TravelManagers lays out consumer protection intentions
By admin

While it remains committed to helping ensure the success of the Australia Federation of Travel Agent’s new accreditation scheme, home-based firm TravelManagers has stressed that it will not hesitate to provide its own consumer protection scheme if considered necessary.

Responding to a question on the issue at the TravelManager’s National Conference last week, chairman Barry Mayo began by saying the company would have preferred to see reform of the Travel Compensation Fund rather than its winding down in favour of the new Australian Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS).

However, despite that, he remains convinced an industrywide solution is in the best interests of all.

“We will do everything in our power to assist ATAS’ success,” he told delegates aboard Royal Caribbean cruise liner Voyager of the Seas.

“However, for ATAS to be successful, we need greater clarity than has been provided up to now.”

Any failings of the new scheme could affect the way consumers perceive travel agents in general, Mayo underlined.

In addition, he highlighted issues with the voluntary nature of ATAS and its associated insolvency cover which would give rise to a number of inconsistencies among its members.

“Some agents will be accredited some will not be accredited, both accredited and unaccredited agents can then opt to have insolvency insurance or not to have insolvency insurance,” he said.

While Mayo reiterated that TravelManagers is in communication with AFTA over the scheme’s development and will continue to engage in ongoing transition workshops in a bid to deliver a solution, he added other options are also being considered in order to ensure the success of its own agents.

“We are, as already mentioned, exploring all options that would set us apart from the industry in general, should accreditation and insolvency protection insurance not be mandatory so that each of our personal travel managers would be positioned as a favoured option when choosing a travel intermediary or agent,” he said.

“We are confident, regardless of how ATAS develops, that TravelManagers will be well placed to compete against all our existing competitors.”

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