When I toured the Ottawa Adventure Travel show recently, I had a great chat with my TICO rep, Susie.
It’s amazing how many yoga companies, event planners, cycling companies, walking companies etc are popping up lately that are selling travel services to Ontario folks. Yet, none of these companies are registered with TICO.
Yet, as the TICO website notes, “All travel retailers and travel wholesalers selling travel services from a location in the Province of Ontario are required to be registered under the Travel Industry Act, 2002 with TICO. …Selling travel services in and from the Province of Ontario without TICO registration is a contravention of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and may result in charges being laid under the Act. This also applies to anyone who has submitted a TICO Application for Registration which is pending approval from TICO.”
Many might not know who TICO is. TICO is the Travel Industry Council of Ontario. Here’s some info from their website www.tico.ca about who TICO is.
The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) is a self-managed, not-for-profit corporation, responsible for administration and enforcement of the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05 on behalf of the Ontario government. The legislation governs all of the approximately 2,500 travel retailers and travel wholesalers registered in Ontario. In addition, TICO administers an industry-financed Travel Compensation Fund.
TICO was established in 1997 as a delegated administrative authority under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act, as a result of the mutual desire of the government and the travel industry to enhance professionalism, increase consumer protection and provide an effective and efficient regulatory body. The Ministry of Consumer Services continues to be responsible for the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05 as well as general oversight of TICO.
With regard to TICO’s mandate and mission:
The Travel Industry Council of Ontario’s mission is to promote a fair and informed marketplace where consumers can be confident in their travel purchases. We also support the mission of the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services to maintain a fair, safe and informed marketplace as it relates to Ontario’s Travel Industry Act, 2002.
We accomplish this through developing high standards and efficient, effective and relevant regulatory mechanisms in areas such as:
- Consumer protection.
- Consumer education and awareness.
- Registration, inspection, supervision and discipline of registrants.
- Investigating and mediating disputes between consumers and registrants.
(TICO compliance officers are following up with anyone they find. The legislation is clear,)
They even have guidelines for event planners. http://www.tico.ca/industry-info/event-planners-guidelines.html
You can still travel with your yoga instructor, or your cycling shop owner, of course – but – if they are actively marketing and selling any travel services (whether it’s air, hotel, etc) to Ontario residents, they have to either be registered themselves with TICO, or work with a TICO regulated agency and advisor.
Buy your travel from a TICO-registered advisor, and a TICO-registered agency to ensure you are protected.