Ontario Agencies Overwhelmingly Reject TICO Increases

ACTA Members Oppose ACTA National Support for Higher TICO Fees

Toronto, 19 May 2011: Canada's Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA Canada) announced today that it was pleased that ACTA Ontario travel agencies were not willing to accept TICO's plan to summarily increase renewal fees by some 20% annually. More importantly, ACTA members were opposed to ACTA National's support for TICO's increases and made it clear that TICO needs to balance "cost controls" and more "operational accountability".

In a sheepish, almost dancing-around-the-issue, ACTA's 12 May 2011 "ACTAVision" newsletter attempted to first deflect the concerns of its members by setting out to praise TICO. In a strange digression, ACTA stated "the majority of members strongly approve of the need for TICO and agree with the direction that it has taken since inception", yet, it's hard to imagine that any of ACTA's members considered this to even be the issue at hand.

Then, as if to save face from ACTA's missteps in touting the fee increases by incorrectly referring to TICO's "increased" budget and "effectiveness" regarding the TICO consumer advertising campaign, ACTA finally concedes that its members did not support the increases without some balance as to costs.

"This is just another example of ACTA's 'loco parentis' where the association seeks to speak for all agencies without so much as reasonable consultation. Coming out and ardently supporting TICO's outrageous fee increases was ACTA's slap against its Ontario membership without so much as standing by its members' concerns, let alone misleading them as to TICO's programs, finances, and compensation fund uses. I guess the four sentences in ACTA's newsletter is all that we're going to see on this issue. It's shameful that ACTA members aren't getting more decisive leadership as ACTA protects itself, not its members", said ARTA Canada President Bruce Bishins, CTC.

ARTA Canada helped its members and other Ontario agencies in providing an online form to share comments with TICO about the proposed increases. All of the input received fully rejected TICO's higher renewal fees. ARTA Canada wrote to TICO's Chairman to make clear that the increases were overwhelmingly opposed by Ontario agencies.

"Now, the results seem to be universal. Both ARTA and ACTA members do not support any fee increase at this time. We'll see how TICO responds to the very comments it requested", added Bishins.

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). For complete details about ARTA Canada's new $99 membership campaign or to join ARTA Canada, including secure payment on our web site, please visit www.artacanada.ca/join.

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