MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ Managing Director, Roy Merricks has addressed the need for Consumer AffairsAustralia and New Zealand (CAANZ) to mount a national campaign to ensure the general public are kept fully informed as to the implications the soon to be instigated Travel Industry Transition Plan will hold for them.
Writing to CAANZ’s Policy and Research Advisory Committee this week, Mr Merricks said it was important that the general public fully understood that the proposed reforms had come about in order to improve thecertainty and future of those trading within the industry and was ultimately to their (the consumers) benefit.
“Undoubtedly there will be scepticism from the public sector but the last thing we want to see as a result of these reforms is for the general public to have any misconceptions that would actively encourage them to by-pass local travel agents and shop overseas,” he said.
“For instance, the draft plan statement proposal which details that TCF reserves (raised from travel agents) be used to ‘draw consumers’ attention to risk-minimisation measures that they can take prior to dealing with a travel agent.’
“There are obviously many reasons why consumers attention should be drawn to risk minimisation measures especially when they buy direct from overseas suppliers with no presence in this country.
“This is just one of several messages that needs to be very clearly conveyed.”
Mr Merricks has also suggested implementation of a ‘best industry code of practice’ for consumers highlighting the benefits of dealing with accredited professionals.
“We would endorse an industry led accreditation scheme as a way of ensuring a continuation of the current high standards of both businesses and individual travel consultants,” he said.
“A deregulated system has operated in New Zealand for years and an accreditation scheme operated there by TAANZ under a ‘Without a travel agent you’re on your own’ banner is the logical entity to operate a similar scheme in this country.
“Currently AFTA asserts ‘Without a travel agent you’re on your own’,” he said.“In order to differentiate professionals in a deregulated market, perhaps that should become ‘Without an AFTA travel agent you’re on your own’.“
Source = MTA - Mobile Travel Agents