What is TICO?
The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) is a non-profit corporation financed through fees from its approximately 2,400 Ontario travel retail and wholesale registrants. TICO is mandated by the Ontario Government through the Ministry of Consumer Services to administer the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 as well as an industry-financed Compensation Fund. The Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund is wholly-financed by the industry to protect consumers who do not receive the travel services for which they have paid due to the insolvency or bankruptcy of an Ontario-registered travel agent or travel wholesaler or due to the cessation of an end supplier airline or cruise line .
Read more About TICO.
What does TICO do?
The Mission of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario is to promote a fair and informed marketplace where consumers can be confident in their travel purchases.
TICO provides five core areas of service:
- Regulation of Ontario’s travel industry through the mandatory registration, inspection, supervision and discipline of registrants,
- Monitoring and enforcement of Ontario’s travel industry - read more
- Administration of an industry-financed Compensation Fund - read more
- Assistance with a Consumer Complaints process between consumers and registrants - read more
- Consumer education and awareness - read more
A registrant is defined as a travel agent or travel wholesaler who is registered as a travel agent or a travel wholesaler or as both under the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002.
A travel agent is defined as a person who sells travel services to consumers that are provided by another person.
A travel wholesaler is defined as a person who acquires rights to a travel service for the purpose of resale to a travel agent or who carries on the business of dealing with travel agents or travel wholesalers for the sale of travel services provided by another person.
Currently, there are approximately 2,400 travel agencies, travel wholesalers and branch offices registered with TICO.
TICO operates a risk management programme, which includes financial inspections of registrants carried out under the direction and control of the Registrar, Travel Industry Act, 2002. The objective of the programme is to identify as early as possible registrants at financial risk and to work with these registrants to ensure compliance with the Act and Regulation. Through early identification of registrants at financial risk, TICO attempts to minimize potential claims against the Compensation Fund and disruption to consumer travel. The programme consists of an annual review of the financial statements of all registrants, a more frequent review of the financial statement of larger registrants and site inspections.
The Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund is governed by Ontario Regulation 26/05 made under the Travel Industry Act, 2002. The Fund is totally financed by registered travel agents and travel wholesalers in Ontario and is administered by TICO, whose Board of Directors determine whether a claim or a part of one, meets the requirements of the Regulation.
Subject to the Regulation, the Fund provides reimbursement of monies paid to an Ontario registered travel agent for travel services that are not provided due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of an Ontario registrant or an end supplier airline or cruise line, where a reimbursement has not otherwise been provided. As long as the consumer has dealt through a registered Ontario travel retailer, a claim may be filed against the Compensation Fund for the non-provision of travel services.
Standard Claims must be submitted in writing to the Board within six months after the registrant or end supplier becomes bankrupt or insolvent or ceases to carry on business. The maximum payout per person is $5,000.
Trip Completion Claim
Effective July 1, 2010, claims may be filed against the Compensation Fund to provide the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred (transportation, accommodation and meals) to complete a trip where the travel services have not been provided as the result of the closure of a TICO registered travel retailer or a TICO registered travel wholesaler. Provided that the consumer purchased their original travel services from an Ontario registered travel retailer, trip completion claims may be eligible when the consumer's travel services commenced prior to the failure of the TICO registrant and the consumer is in destination and unable to receive the travel services purchased to complete their travel plans.
Trip Completion claims must be submitted in writing to the Board within six months after the registrant becomes bankrupt or insolvent or ceases to carry on business. The maximum payout per person is $5,000.
TICO provides complaint handling for consumer-to-registrant disputes. After encouraging consumers to pursue all avenues with the registrant, TICO staff will assist with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable solution. However, TICO does not have the authority to settle a dispute, or to impose a settlement, and it does not have the authority or mandate to act as an arbitrator in any complaint matter. When a complaint involves allegations of non-compliance with the Act, the Registrar will undertake the necessary compliance and enforcement activities. If such is the case, this will be dealt with separately from assisting with resolution of the complaint. When a mutual solution is not reached, complainants are provided with information regarding options to pursue matters.
Use these links to find out more about:
Other contact information:
Travel Industry Council of Ontario
Tel: (905) 624-6241
Toll free: 1-888-451-TICO (8426)
Fax: (905) 624-8631
2700 Matheson Boulevard East
Suite 402, West Tower
Monday thru Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
TICO Media Contacts:
Richard Smart - Chief Executive Officer & President /Statutory Registrar
Dorian Werda - Vice President, Operations