Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Hon Simon O'Brien MLC

Former Minister for Finance; Commerce; Small Business

    Opinions sought on travel industry changes

    19/09/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • Does the public want the travel compensation fund to be wound down?
    • Travel agents say current regulations anti-competitive

    The State Government is encouraging people to comment on the proposed implementation of a national plan to deregulate Australia’s travel industry.

    The draft plan proposes to remove licensing requirements for travel agents and wind down the compensation fund.  Submissions are being sought nationally about the transitional arrangements being recommended to put this draft plan into effect.

    “I urge all interested parties to review the transition plan and submit their comments,” Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said.

    The compensation fund reimburses consumers if a licensed travel agent becomes insolvent or fails to pay for travel after accepting the consumer’s money.

    The plan followed a review carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers.  The review involved extensive consultation and the report outlined a number of options for reform which make up the draft plan.

    One finding of the review was that the growth in online bookings by consumers direct with travel providers in Australia and overseas has resulted in the compensation fund applying to fewer travellers.

    Travel agents argue that current regulations are now anti-competitive.  They say the cost of a licence and contributions to the Travel Compensation Fund are an unfair financial burden on brick and mortar travel agencies.

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