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NSW to implement new booking standards with aim to protect travellers

NSW will be the first state to introduce a new minimum information standard for terms and conditions, Better Regulation minister Kevin Anderson has said.


The move is a step towards helping customers better understand cancellation policies before they put down down a deposit.



“These changes mean that customers will be fully informed before they commit to a purchase helping them avoid an unexpected shock if they have to cancel or defer,” Anderson told the Sydney Morning Herald.


But some are demanding national reform, with consumer organisation Choice calling for a mandatory industry code and an industry ombudsman to handle complaints.


The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) argues that no such reform is necessary, highlighting that agents have secured $8 billion in refunds and travel credits from suppliers.


According to AFTA chief executive Dean Long the majority of problems with refunds had been caused by the withholding of funds by the suppliers, rather than agents.


“Those customers who have gone through that process have been overwhelmingly satisfied,” he said.


“No one has been able to demonstrate there’s been any breakdown in industry practice that requires changes,” he said, claiming there was no proof of excessive cancellation fees charged by agents or widespread use of mark-ups.


“We’ve got an industry code and the overwhelming part of industry is part of that.”



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Published: 10 November 2021

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