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Queensland Access Travel firm speaks out on ATAS

May 8, 2014 Corporate, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Queensland company Access Travel Pty Limited (trading as Access Ireland and UK Holidays) feels that that insolvency insurance should be compulsory for all travel agents and wholesalers.

The firm is in no way associated with NSW company Summa Travel & Tours (trading as Travel Access in Blacktown), which was terminated earlier this month by the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) on grounds of consumer claims being received.

Owner/manager of Access Travel Pty Limited, Nicky Ross, said that “as a lawful and reputable business”, Access Travel, like many other travel Web-banner-300-250operators, was “concerned about the impact of the removal of mandatory licencing and TCF membership as of 1 July 2014.

“We are wholeheartedly of the opinion that under the new ATAS scheme, insolvency insurance should be compulsory for all travel agents and wholesalers,” she said.

“In fact, I personally believe that licencing as a travel agency should also remain mandatory.”

Ross, like many other agents, is concerned about what may happen after the TCF disappears on 30 June 2014.

The latest default in NSW, reported last week, could produce a volume of claims “much larger than the other travel agent defaults this year”, a statement by TravelManagers said. Terminations now total four agents with thirteen outlets in five states plus the Northern Territory.

“With estimated losses up to AUD 250,000 from one longstanding travel agent alone, this highlights the absolute need and real concern TravelManagers has for ATAS not making Travel Agent Insolvency Insurance mandatory,” TravelManagers chairman, Barry Mayo, reiterated.

“The potential for a significant number of clients to be adversely affected and severely out of pocket has been dramatically demonstrated by this latest collapse.” What proposed protection would the agency’s clients have under the proposed ATAS scheme? Mayo asked.

Many smaller agents fear that if agents without insolvency insurance go bust, leaving consumers out of pocket, the resulting storm of bad publicity will affect everyone. Such bad publicity could be expected to deter some consumers from booking with agents, and drive others into the arms of big chains, in the belief chains will offer sounder protection than their smaller independent rivals.

Making Travel Agent Insolvency Insurance a compulsory part of ATAS could go a long way in helping to avoid such debacles.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Robyn says:

    Oh dear – when will you all realize that it is all a great big political game. ATAS cant make insolvency insurance compulsory because Flight Centre are not paying for the insurance as they are going to have their own “baby”TCF. Flight Centre will guarantee their own stores the same as Helloworld. No issue with that its just not the fair playing field you thought it was going to be. As no one has the cost of insolvency insurance Im not sure I would be sprouting “make it compulsory” just yet!!!

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