Know your travel agencies' obligations

November 6, 2014

Travel agencies' obligations are the laws that a travel agency must abide by to get and keep its license. Before using a travel agency to book your trip, you should know what services the agency offers and if it is meeting its obligations.

Know your travel agencies' obligations

Travel agent licenses

One of the most important obligations a travel agency must fulfil is having all of its agents licensed. This license must be obtained from the province where the agency does its business, and it should be displayed in the office for consumers to see. The travel agent can apply for the license for themselves or on behalf of an association or partnership. The address the agent lists as his/her place of business should be used primarily as a travel agency, and if the agent owns two or more places, he/she needs to get a duplicate license to display in each office. In British Columbia, travel agents are obligated to display a Consumer Protection BC logo along with their license.

Consumers should only work with travel agencies that fulfil their obligation of being licensed. That way, they'll be safe from agents who may try to cheat or scam them.

Keeping detailed records of transactions

Another obligation travel agencies must meet is keeping detailed records of all transactions. These records should be kept in the travel agency. The government of the province may ask the agent to produce these records at any time. Before you work with a travel agent, be sure to ask if he/she is meeting this obligation.

Putting the customer's money into a trust

Once a customer gives the travel agent the money for a trip, the agent is required to put the money into a trust. The travel agent will act as the trustee and will deposit and maintain the funds in the account. When your travel agent puts your money in this account, they can't touch it for any reason other than to pay for your trip. It's the travel agent's obligation to only use the money for its intended purpose only.

In order for members of a business to meet travel agencies' obligations, they must be fully licensed, keep detailed records of all of their transactions and put the consumer's money into a trust that they use to pay for the trip. If you're planning on working with a travel agency for your next trip, make sure that it is meeting all of its obligations.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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