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Calls go out for a new TCF in wake of travel firm collapses

September 26, 2019 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

With some of the world’s oldest and best-known travel names collapsing and ceasing to trade, it’s no wonder calls are going out in Australia for a return of the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF).

AFTA has heard the calls. Quite apart from the Thomas Cook collapse, which affected mainly British travellers, AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury said that in the wake of the catastrophic collapse of Tempo Holidays/Bentours, AFTA knew of “a range of discussions taking place within the industry” which called for the return of the TCF. 

In a statement issued yesterday, Westbury said:

In the wake of the catastrophic collapse of Tempo Holidays/Bentours, it has been brought to AFTA’s attention, that there has been a range of discussions taking place within the industry which call for the return of the scheme formally known as the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF). I will address this below.

AFTA have received a large number of inquiries from both consumers and agents relating to the recent collapse of Tempo Holidays/Bentours. In response, AFTA has created an Advisory Note (below) to help provide some clarity on the current situation and the pathways that impacted travel agents may be able to take – this will depend on each individual client and agent’s situation.

Faced with the recent collapse, agents have cried out for the TCF under the false belief that it would provide some level of consumer protection. The simple fact is that no government, nor industry, is prepared to cover the losses of illegal behaviour by a wholesaler. Such a request is not reasonable, fair, equitable, or the way a robust, strong, honest, and trustworthy industry should operate. In fact, it is unclear as to whether the former TCF would have protected consumers who paid cash in this matter, or at this point in time, as Tempo has appointed an administrator, and the fate of the company is still to be determined.

In this case specifically, there is still the unknown fact that the parent company in India remains in operation, and has considerable assets at its disposal. To simply suggest a prior, flawed, scheme would resolve matters, is simply not true.

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Andris Blums says:

    The AFTA vices expressed above are a disgrace . They hold the concept of consumer protection in contempt
    The proof for that is the failure of the AFTA on the closure of the TCF to implement as part of that travel industry benefit received the agreed replacement scheme to protect consumers

    State and federal government consumer bodies and Choice are complicit in this failure by failing to hold the AFTA to account for not putting into place the agreed alternative consumer protection provisions

    Currently I would argue there is little or no advantage for consumers to use AFTA accredited agents over other channels

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