Are you inadvertently working with an unregistered individual or company?

Consumers know that as a TICO-registered company, you observe a standard when it comes to the disclosure of important information, truthful advertising and transparency around booking details.

And, if they book with you, they are entitled to consumer protection in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

Is it possible that you are inadvertently working with a person or company that isn’t registered, but should be? Doing so can unintentionally put you and your customers at risk, and it’s a breach of the law (Ontario Regulation 26/05, Section 20).

TICO registrants are not to conduct business with a person who is required to be registered but isn’t.

Companies that aren’t registered but should be:

There have been some instances that have come to TICO’s attention where a TICO-registered retailer was working with an unregistered air charter broker. While airlines fall under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), companies that act as intermediaries between airplane owners and consumers who wish to charter an aircraft, are acting as agents and would fall under TICO’s jurisdiction.

As a TICO registrant, it is your responsibility to ensure you are working with a registered company, whether that is an air charter broker or any other travel retailer or wholesaler operating in Ontario. TICO’s registrant search is a quick and easy way to verify if a company is registered.

Group bookings:

There may be an individual who advertises group travel opportunities to the general public or to members of a particular community. This could be someone who is part of a church community, a Legion, a special interest club or something similar. This individual may put together itineraries that include air travel, hotel, cruises, etc. They then advertise those travel services and collect funds from individuals who are interested in joining and may not realize the sale of travel services is regulated in Ontario.

The trip organizer may mark-up the price of those travel services to collect a profit for themselves, or they may be a participant on the trip as well. The trip organizer is operating as an unregistered travel agent by arranging and advertising travel services and collecting money from consumers.

There have been instances where a trip organizer then approaches a TICO registrant to complete the booking for part or all of the trip. There have also been instances where the trip organizer places the registrant in jeopardy by disappearing with the funds collected from other participants.

Tips for group bookings

  • Collect payment from each customer and issue an invoice to each customer
  • Provide proper disclosure to each person travelling

For more information, please review the disclosure and invoicing guidelines and checklists at this link.

Next page: Checking the Pulse of the Travel Industry