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AFTA Applauds The Western Australian Government By Aligning With The National Reform For Travel Agent Licensing

October 9, 2014 Association No Comments Email Email

The Western Australian Minister for Commerce, The Hon. Michael Mischin confirmed that the Western Australian licensing scheme for travel agents has ceased.

The outdated licensing program was part of a national scheme and added significant business costs to Australian based travel distributors.

The decision came after extensive and careful consultation with industry, consumers and governments. All Australian travel agents must maintain compliance with the consumer protections afforded under the Australian Consumer Law. Consumers are also encouraged to seek an ‘ATAS Accredited Travel Agent’ in this new operating environment.

AFTA CEO, Jayson Westbury; “Congratulated the Minister on allowing the Western Australian travel industry to compete against their competitors and in doing so removing a costly and inefficient regulatory process.”

“A new de-regulated environment for travel agents has become a reality across Australia. Western Australian travel agents now have a clear path to join the AFTA’s Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS). ATAS is an Industry-led travel agent accreditation scheme and has been developed to allow consumers to identify professional, trained, trustworthy Australian travel agency businesses,” Mr Westbury said.

“ATAS provides consumers with confidence that they are dealing with a travel agents that have taken out accreditation and met strict criteria and standards of professionalism,” Mr Westbury said.

“This is good news for travel agents and good news for consumers as Western Australia is now aligned with the rest of mainland Australia which removes confusion and allows the new accreditation scheme and other travel related business practices to be fully rolled out,” Mr Westbury said.

ATAS now has over 2500 agent locations in Australia and to date over 236 WA based travel agents have already been accredited through ATAS.

The State and Territory Government’s commenced a marketing campaign on 25 August 2014 to educate consumers about the changes to the Australian travel industry called ‘Pack Some Peace of Mind’.  Following this government led campaign AFTA will be conducting its own consumer marketing to further educate consumers about the benefits of booking through an ATAS accredited travel agent when planning or booking their holidays.

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