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Travel agents 

From 1 July 2014, travel agents are no longer required to be licensed. This includes any individual or corporation (including general sales agents, wholesalers, consolidators, retail agents and some tour operators) who carries on business as a travel agent.

You are carrying on business as a travel agent if you:

  • sell tickets allowing another person to travel, or arrange approval for another person to travel
  • sell, arrange or make available the right for another person to travel to a place and be accommodated at that place
  • purchase for the purpose of reselling the right of passage on a conveyance.

 

Travel industry reforms 

The following aspects of the travel industry reform process have been implemented:

  • Since 1 July 2013, travel agents have not been required to lodge annual financial returns to the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF)
  • Travel agents legislation in NSW was repealed in May 2014, and
  • A voluntary industry accreditation scheme has been introduced.

The TCF will close in mid to late 2015, and make final payments of any consumer claims by 30 June 2015. Travel agents must continue to comply with existing TCF participation requirements until then.

For more information about the reforms, visit the Travel Industry Transition Plan page on the Australian Consumer Law website. This page links to a frequently asked questions document which details the changes.

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ATAS accreditation scheme 

The peak industry body for travel agents, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), has developed a new voluntary accreditation scheme known as the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme, or ATAS, for travel intermediaries.

For more information on ATAS, go to the AFTA website or email atas@afta.com.au.

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From 1 July 2014, travel agents must not display their licence certificates and must remove all signage and any references to travel agent licences or the Travel Compensation Fund from their business premises, advertising and paperwork as soon as possible.

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