ARTA Canada Raises Concerns About
Back-Office System Readiness to Accommodate HST

Travel Agencies Should Contact System Providers

Toronto, 26 April 2010: Canada's Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA Canada) emphasized its significant concerns today regarding the readiness of back-office systems (BOS) to accommodate HST. These concerns are heightened with respect to the post-transaction handling of service charges, markups, and commissions. Of particular concern is any BOS which has hard-coded or pre-programmed tax rates for service charges and commissions.

ARTA Canada President Bruce Bishins, CTC made these remarks at last week's Travel Law Conference during a discussion of HST and its impact on the travel industry. Several travel agencies agreed with Bishins, indicating that their BOS was either unfamiliar with the implementation of HST or unprepared to answer questions about how HST programming would be updated in agency subscriber systems. Most BOS providers are headquartered in the USA.

"We've had hundreds of agencies in our HST Webinars, and they all tell pretty much the same story. When they ask their back-office system provider about HST programming, all they hear is silence, or worse yet 'What new HST?'", added Bishins.

Bishins encouraged attendees to speak with their BOS provider as soon as possible to assure that they were on-track with HST policies and timely implementation.

ARTA Canada's HST Webinars conclude this week. For more information, including details about the HST Self-Paced Learning Program, please visit the Airline Training Council web site at: www.airlinetraining.org/hst.

About ARTA Canada 

ARTA Canada is the largest non-profit federally incorporated professional association of travel retailers in Canada, the members of which consist exclusively of travel agencies and travel agents. In addition to advocating fair and equitable treatment of travel consumers, ARTA Canada represents the commercial and strategic interests of its member travel agencies and travel agents in a variety of national and provincial domains including regulatory and legislative matters, automation, technology, sales and marketing, and distribution.

ARTA Canada is the strategic partner in Canada of the U.S.-based Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA). ARTA Canada is the Canadian member of UFTAA, the United Federation of Travel Agents' Associations. To join ARTA Canada, complete details and online membership application and secure payment are available on the ARTA Canada web site at www.artacanada.ca/join.


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