One of the industry’s peak bodies has engaged the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) to assist with policy development for COVID-19-related travel cancellations.
With ongoing uncertainty surrounding the immediate future of international travel and tourism, the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has entered into formal discussions with the ACCC to clearly define the role played by Australian-based tour operators and wholesalers that supports the longevity of the outbound travel sector.
“The ACCC is dealing with thousands of consumer enquiries around refunds for international travel,” CATO managing director Brett Jardine (pictured above) said.
“CATO is eager to ensure a viable, common-sense approach that can be supported by the ACCC in dealing with future travel credits or consideration of refunds in extenuating circumstances.”
CATO is arguing that it is in the best interest of consumers that future travel credits are issued instead of cash refunds. Jardine said this will ensure maximum returns for each client, and help to preserve cash flows through each part of the travel supply chain.
A formal submission by CATO has now been presented to the ACCC, which highlights the intricacies of the global travel ecosystem and “the overwhelming support being shown by the majority of participants at every level”, according to Jardine.
“Open communication with the ACCC on behalf of our members is critical at this time,” he said.
“We will ensure that the ACCC is very clear on the role of Australian-based tour operators and wholesalers so they continue with appropriate policy around future travel credits and refunds that supports the longevity of the outbound travel sector.”