The Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) announced the non-voluntary termination of NSW based travel agency All Travel just days before the Fund’s termination on 30 June.

The TCF has advised it is expecting consumer claims in excess of $400,000 from the All Travel agency

Collapse, however as the deadline is nearly upon us for the new Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) to come into effect, TravelManagers pushes that this further highlights the need for TCF extension.

TravelManagers’ Chairman, Barry Mayo continues the argument saying “all Travel’s clients will not be out of pocket from the travel agency collapse thanks to the security of the TCF.”

“TravelManagers believe these clients would be facing a very different situation should this collapse have occurred after 01 July, where ATAS accreditation does not deliver consumers any guarantee of protection against travel intermediary insolvency.”

Mr Mayo believes the reality is that many of these clients would have lost money and forfeited travel with no recourse, which without question will weaken public perception and consumer confidence in travel agents as a whole.

The recent collapse of All Travel provides a real example of the importance of TravelManagers request for a six-month extension of the current Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) to 31 December 2014, as discussed in a meeting with Hon Matthew Mason-Cox MLC, in his capacity as Chair of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Consumer Affairs, according to Mr Mayo.

Mr Mayo has been extremely vocal around TravelManagers’ strong opinion that ATAS should provide an acceptable level of consumer protection and suggest that the TCF and ATAS run side by side for a period of time, allowing the travel industry to have time to obtain more certainly and clarity around the scheme and have an appropriate review of TAIFI and explore alternative insurance products.

“This will also give security for consumers who may be impacted by the failure of a travel agent, just like this week’s situation with All Travel and who does not properly account for their customer’s monies during this transition period,” Mr Mayo continued.

What are your thoughts on the new ATAS scheme and will it be enough to replace the TCF?