The recent placement of WorldTourism into voluntary administration has highlighted the need for holidaymakers to ensure their booking provider was taking every possible step to safeguard their money, according to schoolies.com.
It has been claimed that potentially thousands of holidaymakers and accommodation providers linked with the Queensland-based travel group could be out of pocket, demonstrating the importance for consumers to ensure their funds are protected by a trust account and other measures.
A statement issued by the Australian Resident Accommodation Managers Association (ARAMA) said: “Consumers who paid holding deposits for their holidays or pre-paid their holiday in full may be disadvantaged if payment was taken by WorldTourism and not forwarded to the accommodation provider.
“The accommodation provider who is awaiting payment from WorldTourism for holidays that have been completed may also be disadvantaged. Substantial amounts of pre paid holiday bookings could be lost.”
Schoolies.com CEO Matt Lloyd said this was a huge wakeup call for travellers to check they have booked with an operator that is a licensed travel agent and that their money is held in a trust account.
“If it is not, then they should immediately request a refund from their booking agent of any amount paid,’’ Mr Lloyd said.
As schoolies’ official booking site for more than 20 years, schoolies.com is committed to meeting the highest regulatory standards to safeguard customers.
Schoolies.com is a licensed travel agent and a contributor to the Travel Compensation Fund in place to protect consumers, meaning customers can be 100% confident that their schoolies booking is in the hands of a specialist and licensed operator.
“We would advise any Schoolie who has not booked through schoolies.com to immediately request a refund from their booking provider unless they can get a trust account receipt,’’ Mr Lloyd said.
Schoolies should contact the Office of Fair Trading, on 13 QGOV (13 74 68), if the booking agent is failing to refund money.