Message from the Registrar

With fall in full swing, the days are getting shorter and darker but there is a noticeable sense of brightness and optimism for the days ahead. The pandemic is certainly not finished, but Ontario appears to be making positive strides in overcoming the worst of COVID-19. Renewed consumer optimism While the threat of the Delta variant continues to be real, Ontario is in an enviable position relative to many other provinces and international destinations. With a high vaccination rate – over 83 per cent of eligible Ontarians are fully vaccinated – life is slowly returning to a ‘new normal.’ Ontario is completing its re-opening plan; capacity limits have been lifted; Canada’s border is open to leisure travellers; the U.S. land border will open to Canadians in a few days’ time. With each of these milestones, there are grounds for renewed consumer confidence and an anticipation that travel will once again become part of our regular lives. A gradual rebound While we are optimistic that brighter days are ahead, the reality is that it will take time for travel to regain its momentum. Our research continues to indicate a high level of anticipation for Ontarians to travel again. The timing of that return will be dictated by ongoing conditions both locally and in other jurisdictions. We understand that this continues to be a very difficult time for registrants. Consumer protection is our mandate, but it must be accomplished in the context of a healthier travel sector. TICO has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to reduce burden on the industry, and we remain committed to helping registrants navigate through these challenging times.

Reminding Ontarians about the benefits of purchasing from a TICO registrant An important aspect of TICO’s mandate is educating consumers about the benefits of purchasing their travel through a registered travel agency or website. As we head into the holiday season and beyond, we will be reminding Ontarians about the knowledge, professionalism and peace of mind that come with purchasing through a TICO registrant. Check out our update about TICO’s consumer awareness campaign.

Industry engagement There is tremendous learning and understanding that flows both ways each time we connect directly with registrants and individual advisors. We are planning on hosting round-table sessions in the New Year. During these sessions, we will share what’s new at TICO, but even more importantly, we’d like to hear directly from registrants across Ontario. Stay tuned for more details in the months ahead. Looking ahead As Ontario opens up, TICO will also begin its return to a new normal. Starting in early November, staff will begin a gradual return to the office. Like many other workplaces, we will be adopting a hybrid work model. Our focus will continue to be a safe work environment for employees and on providing a high-level of customer service to both Ontario’s consumers and registrants. I invite you to check out the articles on the pages ahead. As always, the TICO team is available to answer your questions and receive your feedback.

Richard Smart Registrar & CEO

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