TORONTO — Ontario consumers are still not sufficiently aware that they are protected under the Compensation Fund, according to a new TICO survey.
Consumer awareness of TICO has increased by 1%, from 33% in 2017 to 34% in 2018.
Of those, about three-quarters (73%) understand that they must book with a TICO registered travel agency or website so as not to forfeit the available consumer protection. And just over one-third (38%) knows that TICO manages the Compensation Fund.
“These numbers have a ways to go,” says TICO President and CEO, Richard Smart. “We want consumers to be aware that the Fund is available for their protection. Travelling can be very personal and many Ontarians save up for vacations with families and friends, so it’s important for them to know that they can have peace of mind if they book with a TICO registered travel agency or website. Just look for the logo!”
Dorian Werda, TICO’s VP, Operations, adds: “More consumers are calling us after they have booked their travel but before they have departed. They have questions regarding the terms and conditions of their booking and want to know their rights, especially as it relates to making changes or cancellation. In the past, we received more calls regarding post-travel issues, but this has shifted as more consumers become aware of TICO.”
More findings from the survey include:
- More women are travelling for business. In 2017 female respondents indicated they took an average of 2.5 business trips, compared to an average of 3.5 for men. In 2018 both numbers are up, with women taking an average of 4.3 business trips, an increase of 72%, while men were at 3.8.“Considering we are still in early 2018, that’s quite a significant increase, almost doubling all of last year’s total numbers,” says Smart. “We already know that women tend to book more travel than men and it will be interesting to see if those numbers continue to grow over the course of the year.”
- The number of respondents who said they book travel with their travel agency via phone or in person was up this year, from 32% in 2017 to 38% in 2018.“The more complex the trip, the more consumers want to speak with someone face to face,” says Werda. “Experiential travel is on the rise, and people are looking for adventure, so they want the reassurance of speaking with a professional travel agent who can answer their questions and provide recommendations.”
- Consumers who book travel online are becoming more loyal to specific websites. Some 62% in 2018 said they go directly to their favourite website for travel discounts, an increase from 2017 when 58% indicated website loyalty.
TICO’s survey ran Jan. 26 – Feb. 6, 2018 with a sample of 1,000 respondents in Ontario, 18 years of age and above.