Dear Valued Clients,
There has been a significant transformation in the Travel Industry and as your Professional Japan Specialist, we would like to advise you of the changes and how it affects all of us Australians who travel domestically and abroad.
We had a regulated industry up to 1 July 2014. Basically this meant that every travel agency was required to obtain a Travel Agents License and mandatory membership of the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF). The TCF’s role was to provide compensation to travel clients who suffer loss when a travel agent collapses and fails to account for money paid by the consumer by providing the relevant travel arrangements or a refund. Travel Agents licensing ensured that you, as a travelling Australian was dealing with a reputable, professional, trained Travel Agent who holds your monies in a dedicated client trust banking account.
As of 1 July 2014, our industry has been deregulated with the abolishment of both Travel Agents’ licensing and TCF. This means that the travelling public can be exposed to start up “travel businesses” without experience, knowledge and duty of care for their travelling clientele. They may not have a client trust account to provide protection for your payment funds, they may not have sufficient financial resources to run their business.
Experience Japan hold membership with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA). We operate a dedicated client trust account to protect our clients’ payments.
A new body has been set up called The AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) which is an industry accreditation scheme that sets the benchmark of quality for the travel industry. We have joined this scheme to ensure we continue giving our clients peace of mind that they are dealing with a professional travel agent who operate within the guidelines of ATAS.
Abolishment of the TCF now means that the protection of consumer funds is the responsibility of every Travel Agency and is not mandatory. Be assured that extra protection is offered by your travel agent with consumer protection insurance which will cover your funds in case of the collapse of the travel agency and or their suppliers.