New rules call for allin pricing on Ontario travel ads

by Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 13, 2016 8:10 am MDT Last Updated Dec 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Travel ads in Ontario will soon have to include all taxes and fees under new rules that the provincial government says are meant to protect consumers.The province says the rules, which take effect Jan. 1, will help reduce confusion and prevent surprises for travellers, as well as ensure a level playing field for the travel industry.“People across Ontario can now research and buy their vacations and business travel with confidence and without surprises — the price advertised will now be the price paid,” Marie-France Lalonde, Ontario’s minister of government and consumer services, said in a statement.The change was also hailed by at least one industry group, which said all-in pricing “provides consistent guidelines for the travel industry when advertising and promoting the price of travel services.”“Reducing confusion helps consumers and businesses,” said the Travel Industry Council of Ontario, which is tasked with enforcing the province’s Travel Industry Act.A spokeswoman for Flight Centre Canada, a Vancouver-based travel agency with locations throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia, said the company welcomes the new rules and in fact has already been advertising with all costs included for several years.“Full transparency in pricing will reduce confusion while at the same time encourage fair competition from sun wholesalers and retailers so this is very good news for both the consumer and the travel industry,” Allison Wallace said in an email.She said Ontario has been leading the pack when it comes to regulating travel advertising in Canada.Porter Airlines said it supports and advocates for all-inclusive pricing.“We did this for airline pricing and are already following the guidelines outlined today for vacation packages,” the company said in an email.“Porter Escapes, our vacation packages division, has always provided customers with all-inclusive pricing to keep the booking process simple and clear.”The new regulations apply to any ads made by a registered travel agent or wholesaler that refer to the price of travel services.Consultations on how to further protect travellers and reduce the burden on businesses will be held starting in February. People enjoy a sunset at La Boca beach in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba in an Aug.8, 2015 file photo.Travel ads in Ontario will soon have to include all taxes and fees under new rules that the provincial government says are meant to protect consumers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP/Ramon Espinosa New rules call for all-in pricing on Ontario travel ads read more