Monday,  August 15, 2022  9:50 am

TICO marks 25 years at AGM; update to board of directors announced

  • Other
  •   06-29-2022  9:22 am
  •   Pax Global Media

TICO marks 25 years at AGM; update to board of directors announced
From left (of TICO); Michael Levinson, chair; Richard Smart, president & CEO. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) held its virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday (June 28) to share the organization’s key achievements from the previous fiscal year. 

Additionally, TICO recognized its 25th year of providing consumer protection to Ontario’s travellers.

A key theme at the AGM was the resiliency of the travel industry. 

“While the entire travel ecosystem is shifting and re-inventing itself, an expectation for a fair and balanced consumer protection framework remains vital,” said Richard Smart, TICO’s president and CEO. “The Ontario travel marketplace is resilient and will continue to grow. It is important for consumers and business to experience a fair, informed, and balanced market, within a regulatory environment, where businesses thrive, and consumers are protected.”

TICO is marking its 25th year in providing consumer protection in Ontario. (Supplied)

The updates from Michael Levinson, TICO’s Chair and Smart focussed on three key topics:

1. Twenty-five years of consumer protection

TICO began its operations in June 1997. Since then, TICO has supported consumer protection for travellers by "promoting a fair, safe and informed travel marketplace," as per a news release released by the council. 

"One of TICO’s overarching messages has always been, and continues to be, to share the benefits of purchasing travel from a TICO registered business." 

Over the past 25 years, TICO says it has answered 115,656 consumer enquiries via emails, phone calls and walk-inso, closed 6,594 written consumer complaints, facilitated $4,962,172 in restitution between registrants and consumers, paid $14,880,349 from the Compensation Fund to assist 24,037 consumers, repatriated 4,266 consumers stranded in destination, conducted 46,155 bench reviews of registrants’ financial records, along with11,105 site inspections and issued 2,675 warnings to unregistered operators

2. Adjusting to the new normal 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an "exceptionally challenging time for Ontario’s travel agencies, websites and tour operators," TICO says. 

While consumer confidence has increased in recent months, TICO says it is mindful of the current economic environment and its impact on registrants.

3. Commitment to a fair funding model

Since the beginning of the pandemic, TICO registrants have had their registration fees and Compensation Fund contributions waived, thanks to funding provided to TICO by the Ontario government. 

TICO held consultations last fall about a future funding framework. 

"We heard from the industry that the proposed approach needed to be reconsidered," TICO said. "TICO is committed to further  industry consultation to develop a fair funding model that reflects the principles of cost recovery, that delivers value to stakeholders, and that is consistent with the laws of Ontario." 

The AGM also provided an opportunity to announce TICO’s Board of Directors for fiscal year 2022/2023. 

The following individuals were appointed to TICO’s Board of Directors:

  • Doug Ellison – Elected representative (by acclamation)
  • Monica Johnstone – Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA)

The AGM was also an opportunity to recognize the commitment and impact of two outgoing Directors: Rocky Racco and Leanna Villella. 

A recording of the AGM will be made available on TICO’s YouTube channel and website. 

For more information about TICO’s activities, you can view TICO's Annual Report for fiscal year 2021/2022 and the Business Plan for 2022-2025.

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