Travel Agents

Critics flaring ATAS debate to focus on “bigger picture”

Daisy Melwani

On the back of six agency failures in 12 months, one travel group argues industry deregulation isn’t at fault.

Mobile Travel Agents co-director has spoken out against renewed debate spurred by the collapse of six travel agencies in the 12 months since deregulation of the Australian travel industry, agreeing productive discourse was a “good thing” but the industry “must not lose sight of the bigger picture”.

Responding to comments questioning the credibility of a deregulated travel industry in recent weeks, MTA co-managing director, Roy Merricks said while deregulation and later formation of ATAS on July 1 2014 was initially instigated by AFTA, it also drew “on wide ranging industry consultation across a more than five year period”.

“There was nothing to be gained by change simply for the sake of change,” Merricks said.

“But the quality of the data in a Regulatory Impact Statement was compelling enough to result in a balanced conclusion as evidenced by government ratification state by state across the country which in itself was no mean feat.”

Merricks added that while the agency failures occurred in the post-deregulated environment, “the reality is that the market is no longer localised geographically and product and process innovation are likely to have much larger consumer welfare effects overall”.

“Simply because they can happen now, comprehensive consumer financial guarantees continue to evolve and be developed by several industry networks, all of which are intended to provide consumer protection limited to the insolvency of any of its members, effectively replacing the former TCF consumer protection,” Merricks said.

MTA were one of the first agency groups to launch its own consumer protection scheme, Zero Flight Risk™, with a multitude of others following suit with various degrees of client funds protection against intermediary or supplier insolvency.

“One year on from deregulation, there is also no doubt the travel landscape has changed and will continue to change,” Merricks said.

“But at the end of the day, the bigger picture comes back to education and elevation of standards (ATAS) and continues to be the progressive way forward.”


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Cruise

Tourism

Travel Agents

Digital travel ad impressions up 40 per cent says Nielsen Ad Intel

Looks like your marketing team’s efforts are paying off, with ads views climbing dramatically in Australia following the most recent lockdown.

Share

CommentComments

News

Tourism

OMICRON: WHO urges those over 60 to cancel travel plans as SA tightens restrictions

The UN health authority warned countries that blanket bans don’t work, while an Aussie epidemiologist says the government’s current restrictions won’t make much difference.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Planeterra launches holiday fundraising for community tourism

Not sure what to get your colleague for Secret Santa? They’ll be hard-pressed to complain about a donation in their name to support community tourism projects.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

WATCH: Rebel Wilson stars as glam castaway in new Tourism Fiji ad

The Aussie actress channels Tom Hanks’ Castaway in this latest campaign for Tourism Fiji, However, we’re not convinced Hanks could pull off the metallic dress as well as Wilson does.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Club Med opens first Canada property, reveals plans for new Utah ski resort

Those who enjoy the ease of an all-inclusive resort stay will be stoked to learn about Club Med’s latest spate of winter wonderland offerings.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils its largest deployment in history

Batten down the hatches because NCL has released its 2024/25 line up including brand-new homeports in Haifa, Israel and La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

US flight attendants rush back to self-defence in face of rising passenger unruliness

In order to avoid a drunken sky-high fight club breaking out, crewmembers are taking to the studio to keep the peace.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Accor introduce global portfolio of boutique hotels and luxurious resorts, Emblems Collection

A new line of luxury hotels and resorts are what we need to bring the world out of the global pandemic and into an opulent fantasy that only a Disney princess could think up.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Bali had 6.3 million tourists in 2019, in the first 9 months of 2021 it had 43

With tourism rates in Bali so low, we imagine that even Schapelle Corby would be gladly welcomed back.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

Destination NSW Launches Vibrant “Feel New Sydney” Campaign

Destination NSW unveils “Feel New Sydney” work. Just don’t expect the locals to be pleasant or let you in when driving.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Destinations

News

Tourism

Fiji welcomes first flight of international visitors in 20 months as borders open

Sydneysiders touched down yesterday to a big bula welcome almost two years in the making!

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

I Love New York launches new training course for travel agents. Enter for your chance to win!

Calling all Aussie travel agents! Complete the training by the end of January 2022 and you could win a New York-style “za” for you and your team!

Share

CommentComments