Travel mishaps are more common than we’d like them to be. These could be full-blown scams or something as basic as arriving at a resort where key amenities are closed. Thankfully, we live in one of the three Canadian provinces that offer consumer protection for travel services. And to make sure you receive this protection, there exists the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO).

TICO provides added protection to travellers booking services through Ontario-based booking websites and travel agencies for no additional cost whatsoever. And there are many ways they do that. Take a look—

Ensuring Legitimacy

One of the biggest drawbacks of “too good to be true” deals is that they sometimes really are too good to be true. And often, there are limited or no resources of ensuring that the agency or website you are booking with are legit or not. That’s where TICO comes into the picture.

As a consumer protection organization, the council ensures that booking websites & travel agencies in Ontario are legit. These include mom-and-pop travel agencies in a plaza to large-scale websites and everything in between. There are over 2,000 businesses registered with the council.

Photo via Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO)

Travel Industry Council of Ontario
Photo via Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO)

Compensation Fund

When you book with any Ontario-based travel agency, tour operator or website that is registered with TICO, you are automatically covered by the Travel Industry Compensation Fund. No extra charge.

With this coverage, you can get up to $5,000 (conditionally) per traveller for not receiving promised services due to the bankruptcy of the agency or website you booked with, or an airline or cruise line.

Knowledge & Transparency

One common convenience of booking through a legit travel business is that you have a ton of professional knowledge at your disposal. From insurance options to travel documents you need to carry, you are given all the info you could need. And while that is one of the biggest perks of booking with a TICO-registered travel business, the other is transparency.

You will know exactly how much you are paying and what you are paying for. All the details of your bookings will be included in your invoice. And you can reach out to TICO if something is amiss. There is a TICO consumer complaints team that focuses on helping the travel company and the consumer reach an equitable resolution.

Travel Industry Council of Ontario
Photo via Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO)

Additional Support

TICO is like a safety net you can fall back on if something goes wrong with your travel plans.

Whether it is a solo trip or a family holiday, there’s no denying that having someone to call if things go downhill is a huge peace of mind. And the fact that it comes for no added cost is a major bonus.

Anyway, you can check out the TICO website below for more info about the council and find travel businesses registered with them.