Statistics Canada says 58% of Canadians booked travel online in 2012. Are you a consumer who prefers to book your travel online? If so, you don’t want to miss this post.
Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating the travel industry in the province, and that includes licensing all travel agencies and travel wholesalers based in BC. Here are some tips if you’re considering booking travel online.
- Ensure you are dealing with a licensed travel agency. Access to BC’s Travel Assurance Fund is one of the top reasons why you want to work with a BC-licensed travel agency, online or not, for your travel needs. This fund provides a possible source of compensation if you do not receive travel services purchased through a BC-licensed travel agent. Learn more about the fund by clicking here. You can also check to see if an agency is licensed in BC by clicking here and using our online licensee search.
- Check to see if the travel agency or website is licensed by any other jurisdiction. Even if the agency or website isn’t based in BC, there may be other provinces that licence and regulate the travel agency. If that’s the case, check to see what protections are in place if you don’t receive your travel services (for instance, the Travel Industry Council of Ontario oversees the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund).
- Read the fine print. Reading all of the terms and conditions will help you be more informed before you book. For example, make sure that you know the currency of the quote you received and find out if there are any cancellation or refund terms.
- Remember: if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are individuals using the anonymity of the internet to commit crimes by offering what may appear to be great “vacation deals,” but are actually not. Ask questions and compare any bargain holidays with packages offered by other licensed travel agents
For more information and tips, take a look at our other blog posts listed below.