Rotary Club of Kitchener


February 04, 2019

Happy Jar

Past member Tracey Hare Connell was pleased to be back with us and for the invitation from Louis Gardiner to join us today.
Louise Gardiner was happy to tell us about the retirement party that was held for her last week in honour of her 40 years in the travel industry and promised that this was the last time she would be talking to us about her retirement!
Howard Pell was happy that his 90 year old father is doing very well. In a recent visit the elevators were not working well and after a 10 minute wait they decided to walk down the 9 flights which his father did well without an issue.
Neil Swayze was pleased to provide President Richard with a birthday cheque.

President's Wine Quiz

Question:   What is the date and topic of our first upcoming Club Assembly?
Answer:     Tuesday, February 26 - Club Structure

Club Announcements

Peter Gray informed the club that we will be participating in a Tree Planting activity again this year, the exact date is yet to be set but it will be around Earth Day on April 22.  Last year our club assisted with the World Water Day Soup Fest which raises funds for the Children's Ground Water Festival and we have been invited to help out again this year. The date is March 22 and members are asked to reserve the date. More details will be forth coming.
Ross Newkirk let members know that plans for our Literacy Project in Caborca Mexico is moving ahead very well. The plan is to set up Reading Centres with 200 books each in 24 different schools. These resources will reach over 7,500 students.  We are confident of a matching RI Global Grant and are just waiting to hear of some matching funds from the Government of Canada. The total value of the project is over $60,000 (US) for which we are the lead club.

50/50 Draw

There were only 21 cards left today and folks we are hoping for a chance at the pot of $638.  Paul Rostrup, Bill Proctor and Richard Bruckeder all got the chance but to no avail as Jack stayed hidden.

Program Highlights

Our guest speaker today was Dorian Werda, Vice President of Operations of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) and was introduced by Louise Gardiner.
After graduating from Humber College in 1986 with a diploma in Travel and Tourism, Dorian started her career in travel at Wardair Canada assisting customers on the Help Desk in the Customer Accounting Department, where she investigated and responded to travel agent and passenger accounting queries and liaised with Wardaiirs' Customer Relations Department.  Following Canadian Airlines takeover of Wardair, Dorian took on a new position in 1990 as Claims Supervisor for the temporary claims centre that was set up by the Ontario government after the failure of Thomson Vacations - which ultimately resulted in the largest payment of claims against Ontario's Travel Industry Compensation Fund.  After supervising the temporary claims centre, Dorian continued her role as Claims Co-ordinator for the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund Corporation.
In June of 1997, the Ontario government delegated the responsibility of administering Ontario's Travel Industry Act, including the Ontario Travel Compensation Fund to TICO.  Dorian was promoted to Manager, Administration & Claims, overseeing TICO's Claims and Consumer Complaints Departments and in 2014 she was promoted to Vice President, Operations, responsible for managing TICO's Claims, Complaints, Compliance and Investigations Departments.
Dorian began by explaining that TICO is one of several other Authoritative bodies in the province such as the Electrical Safety Authority, the Technical Standards & Safety Authority and the Ontario Film Authority. Ontario is one of only three provinces in Canada have an Travel Authority. She then provided some very interesting information about TICO.
TICO’s Role is to:
  • A self-managed, not-for-profit organization formed in 1997.
  • Delegated responsibility from Ontario Government to administer the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05.
  • Mandated to provide consumer protection and administer the Industry financed Travel Compensation Fund.
Vision Statement
To be a progressive regulator advancing consumer protection, ethical business practices and a trusted marketplace where consumers are confident purchasing travel from registered professionals.
Mission Statement
To regulate consumer protection by promoting awareness, education and compliance as part of the efficient and effective regulation of Ontario’s travel industry.
There are five key aspects to what they do – Registration, Education Standards, Compliance and Enforcement, Investigations and Prosecutions, and Managing the Travel Compensation Fund.
  • Travel retailers and wholesalers with a physical location in the province. 
  • Could be on-line, bricks and mortar or both.
  • TICO does not register individuals.
  • Currently there approx. 2,400 TICO registrants.
Education Standards
  • Every person in Ontario working for a retail travel agency and selling travel services to the public must, by law, pass the Travel Counsellor exam.
  • Every travel agency is required to name a Supervisor/Manager who has passed the Supervisor/Manager exam.
  • Passing the TICO Exam allows an individual to sell travel services or provide travel advice to the public on behalf of a TICO registered Ontario travel agency. It does not mean that they are licensed to sell travel services in Ontario as a retailer.
Compliance and Enforcement
  • Financial Inspections / Trust Accounting
  • Filing of Financial Statement
  • Working Capital Requirements
  • Unregistered sellers of travel *
  • Advertising / Website Review
  • Invoicing
Investigations and Prosecutions
  • Conduct Investigations
    • Operating unregistered
    • Trust accounting violations
  • Charges – Provincial Offences (not criminal)
  • Work closely with law enforcement
  • Convictions
    • Individual can be fined up to $50,000 or imprisonment 2 years less a day – or both
    • Corporation can be fined not more than $250,000.
Travel Compensation Fund – What is Covered?
Protects consumers who did not receive the travel services they paid for due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of a registered Ontario travel retailer or travel wholesaler or due to the cessation of an airline or cruise line.
  • Consumers MUST have purchased travel services from a registered Ontario travel retailer.
    (In person, over the telephone or online)
  • No residency provision.
  • Reimburses up to $5,000.00 per person
  • Can cover immediate departures / repatriation.
  • Standard and Trip Completion Claims.
  • Claim filing deadline (6 months)
  • Does not protect purchases made directly with end-suppliers (airlines, hotels, cruise lines), or purchases made from out-of-province travel retailers.
TICOS Role in Handling Consumer Complaints
  • Accept complaints from consumers against Ontario registered travel retailers and/or travel wholesalers.
  • Consumer must have attempted to resolve the matter with the travel agency / tour operator.
  • Review complaint against the requirements under the Act and Regulation.
Common Complaint Issues:
  • Dissatisfaction with travel services in destination.
  • Accommodation change.
  • Travel documentation – failure to disclose.
  • Invoicing/ticketing issues.
  • Cancellation terms and conditions.
  • Customer service.
  • Itinerary change / flight times changed.
  • Suspected fraudulent activity.
Examples where TICO cannot be of assistance:
  • Dissatisfaction with customer service or services in destination.
  • Dissatisfaction with accommodations – quality of food, cleanliness, amenities, Star rating.
  • Price drops after booking made.
  • Flight is delayed or advanced less than 24 hours.
•   Cancellation – no insurance – subject to T&C’s
Know Your Rights
  • Full Disclosure (travel services and price)
  • Travel Documentation
  • Cancellation and medical insurance
  • Receipts and Invoices
  • Advertising (all in pricing)
  • Accommodation in condition represented
  • Changes (accommodation, flight schedules, and prices).
Dorian concluded her presentation with this No. 1 Travel Trip
Always book with a TICO registered travel agency or website!

Closing Remarks & Reminders

Jim Phillips will be presenting a final report on the club's 2018 Online Auction at next week's meeting.
Feb 11, 2019
Online Auction 2018 Final Report
Feb 18, 2019
Family Day
Feb 25, 2019
Club Strategic Planning
Mar 04, 2019
Ekenywa, Nakuru, Kenya
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Neil Swayze
February 1
Jill Melanson
February 2
Lew Ford
February 5
JB Moore
February 8
Cameron Yule
February 19
Wayne Boehler
February 28
Join Date
Ted Wellhauser
February 6, 2012
7 years
Jill Melanson
February 13, 2017
2 years
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.