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Here’s a chart to give agents and suppliers more information on ATAS

May 16, 2014 Corporate, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Confusion in the travel industry about the Australian Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) has prompted TravelManagers to produce a useful chart that identifies the key differences between ATAS and the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF). The chart shows how these differences affect travel agents and suppliers.

The confusion was revealed by an Australian Travel Agent Barometer survey. See earlier story: Survey shines stark light on agent confusion over ATAS. The survey found that 55% of agents surveyed said they required more information, with at least 25% of these same agents saying they had little or no understanding of the ATAS scheme or how it would operate.

As at 31 December 2013, TCF membership comprised 3093 head offices. If the percentages revealed in the survey are representative of the travel CHR_TTR_Banner UK_March14(300x250px)agent industry generally, it would indicate that 1700 agents require more information, with 425 of those same agents saying that they have little or no understanding of ATAS.

“TravelManagers continue to view this as the most important issue facing the travel agent community and its supplier partners in 2014 and is disheartened with the level of confusion within the industry on such an important issue,” TravelManagers’ Chairman, Barry Mayo, comments.

Following on from the survey results TravelManagers has offered clarity to the industry by establishing a document that identifies the differences between ATAS and the TCF and how these differences effect travel agents and suppliers.

“TravelManagers feels strongly about this issue and hopes this succinct explanation of ATAS and how it differs to the TCF provides clarity.”

Other key survey findings as provided by Australian Travel Agent Barometer are:

  • Over 80% of agents want a national consumer campaign with consumer protection guaranteed as part of ATAS;
  • 80% of agents agree a national accreditation scheme is important;
  • 78% of AFTA agents say consumer protection should be compulsory and think it is unacceptable for some agents to have insurance and some not;
  • 77% of travel agents completing the poll were members of AFTA;
  • 55% of agents are unsure or won’t sign up for ATAS because ATAS does not require compulsory insolvency insurance and expressed the view that ATAS will lack credibility;
  • 23% of agents surveyed will not take up any of the three ATAS insolvency policies that ATAS has organised.

TravelManagers has from the outset been frank about its concerns and reservations about ATAS. It has voiced these concerns directly with AFTA.

“We feel it is important to engage in further industry discussion on ATAS and encourage the travel agent community and its supplier partners to read the accompanying chart and attend the upcoming ATAS workshops, starting in Brisbane today, to ensure robust discussion and clear understanding,” Mayo said.

“It is imperative ATAS delivers real value to both the travel industry and the consumer. We understand and support ATAS is the future, however we do not want to see a flawed ATAS weaken the public perception of travel agents and their confidence in travel agents organizing their travel.”

ATAS will become a reality on 1 July 2014.

“We urge the travel agent community to be actively discussing the pros and cons of ATAS as the time remaining for any refinement to the scheme is now less than six weeks. Consumer confidence in retail travel distribution is critical because without it your business and the perception of the travel agent industry could change forever,” Mayo said.

Click to donwnload pdf file here ATAS vs TCF Comparison

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    No confusion. ATAS is just a rebadged TCF but in a costlier and more involved guise that might be fine for the publicly listed conglomerates but which will cause havoc for smaller and independent agents. Which is of course exactly the plan of certain elements in the industry who would love to see travel become like the banks and supermarkets, i.e. totally controlled by a few massive organisations ensuring as little choice for the consumer as possible.

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