TICO celebrates 20 years, 25,000+ consumers
Richard Vanderlubbe (Vice Chair), Michael Pepper (former CEO & Registrar) and Richard Smart, current President & CEO and Registrar, at TICO’s 20th anniversary reception in Mississauga.

TICO celebrates 20 years, 25,000+ consumers

MISSISSAUGA — TICO marked its 20th anniversary with an industry reception last night at the Mississauga Golf & Country Club.

Attendees included many of the past Chairmen and Chairwomen of the TICO Board as well as the past and present director.

TICO CEO Richard Smart said that in its 20 years of operation TICO had helped over 25,000 Ontario consumers.

Chairman of the TICO Board, Jean Herbert, conveyed greetings from Ontario’s Minister of Government and Consumer Services Tracy MacCharles. The Ontario government’s review of the Travel Industry Act and Regulation is currently underway.

TICO currently oversees more than 2,400 travel retailers and wholesalers in Ontario. At TICO’s AGM earlier this summer MacCharles credited TICO with increasing consumer protection and education within the travel industry.

“TICO was designated in 1997 to promote a fair marketplace and to help protect consumers making travel purchases. Over the last two decades, it has served Ontarians with dedication,” she said. “TICO has contributed to a strong travel industry in Ontario by administering registration, inspection, supervision and disciplinarian measures for travel retailers and wholesalers when needed. Twenty years is such an accomplishment and I congratulate you.”

Total contributions to the Compensation Fund over the past year were $2.7 million, up from last year by $378,000. At year-end, the Compensation Fund reflected a balance of $20.6 million, relatively unchanged from a year ago. TICO’s revenues grew over last year by 7% to total $4.7 million, up from last year’s $4.5 million.

With the Fund in good standing and a healthy financial future in sight, TICO is also riding a high from its successful consumer awareness campaign, which Smart has referred to as a “key tool in our arsenal”.
This summer TICO also debuted its redesigned website, featuring a new travel agent learning centre set up to help TICO registrants understand the requirements of the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05.

Tools for successful compliance include a video tutorial featuring checklists on Booking, Invoicing, Website & Social Media and Advertising. Another section offers links to Resources and Guidelines, and TICO Tips for Working Capital.