Dalton McGuinty's Government Fails to Reduce Regulatory Burden on Ontario's Travel Agencies and Tour Operators
TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - It now costs an Ontario travel agency or tour operator an estimated $10,100.00 per year to comply with Ontario's Travel Industry Act. This is in spite of promises by Dalton McGuinty's government to reduce the regulatory burden on Ontario's small and medium-sized businesses.
"We are very disappointed, that the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services has failed to reduce the costs for Ontario travel companies to comply with the Travel Industry Act. While I understand that protecting consumer funds is essential, other jurisdictions such as British Columbia, have struck a better balance between consumer protection and managing compliance costs," explains Darren Swidler, president of TruExperiences Tours, an inbound tour operator. "I estimate that 2,500 Ontario travel companies employing more than 20,000 Ontarians are collectively spending more than $25.0 million per year to comply with this one piece of provincial legislation. No other administrative authority in Ontario burdens its registrants with such high compliance costs."
The burden on small and medium-sized Ontario travel companies is tremendous and includes annual review engagement or audit requirements, licence fees, educational standard requirements, minimum working capital tiers and compensation fund contribution fees.
TICO, the administrative authority designated by the Ministry of Consumer Services to administer the Act, has become a large bureaucracy and has lost more than $5.2 million since 2007/2008 and is on track to lose more than $4.6 million over the next three years.
The British Columbia government did not include review engagements, audits or working capital tier requirements in its legislation due to the burden on businesses. Compensation fund payments in British Columbia have actually been 40% lower than in Ontario (adjusted for population), while minimizing the regulatory burden on British Columbia travel companies.
The TICO Annual Meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at the Toronto Congress Centre. Members of the media are invited to attend.
SOURCE: TRUEXPERIENCES TOURS INC.
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