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Decision summary: Vancouver travel agency fined for violating BC’s travel industry regulations

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{July 28, 2017} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC has issued administrative penalties totaling $800 and a compliance order against M’s Travel Ltd., a travel agent based in Vancouver BC, for violating BC’s Travel Industry Regulation (TIR). The administrative penalties are broken down as follows:

  • For failing to display prominently a current Consumer Protection BC licence in its business premises, contrary to section 8 of the TIR, a $250.00 administrative penalty;

  • For failing to include its licence number in visual advertisements (namely business cards and newspaper ads), contrary to section 9 (3) of the TIR, a $300.00 administrative penalty; and

  • For failing to include the purchaser’s address on a customer receipt, contrary to section 12.1 (b) of the TIR, a $250.00 administrative penalty.

“Travel agents are required to display licensing information, which helps consumers determine if a travel agent is licensed. This is important because consumers can only make a valid claim to the Travel Assurance Fund, a possible source of compensation when consumers do not receive the travel services they paid for, when purchased from a licensed travel agent,” says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC. “By law, travel agencies in BC must follow licensing requirements which are ultimately in place to protect consumers.”

The business has been ordered to comply with the requirements under section 8, 9(3), 12.1(b) of the TIR, and to reimburse Consumer Protection BC partial costs for the inspection in the amount of $500 within 30 days. To read the compliance order, administrative penalty and the full reasons for the decision, click here. By law, the business has 30 days to request a reconsideration of this decision.

All money Consumer Protection BC receives from administrative penalties is deposited into the consumer advancement fund (as required by section 169 of the BPCPA).

backgrounder on travel agency regulation in BC and a list of BC-licensed travel agents and wholesalers can be found on Consumer Protection BC’s website at www.travelrightsbc.ca.

About Consumer Protection BC:
Consumer Protection BC is the regulator of a variety of sectors and specific consumer transactions in the province. Our mandate is to license and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, classify all general release motion pictures and provide information so consumers can self-assess the fairness of a transaction. Our vision is a province where all citizens of BC are empowered in their transactions as a result of rigorous and consistent business compliance and through the provision of helpful consumer information. For more information about our organization and to read our recent enforcement actions, please visit our corporate website at 
www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. To learn more about our inspections and complaint-handling processes, please refer to this backgrounder. You can also follow us on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.