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ATAS accreditation scheme 1. Is a travel agent still required to hold a licence? No, a travel agent licence is not required to operate a travel agency. For information on accreditation click here. When is a good time to start? If you are considering trading as a travel agent, please seek independent legal and commercial advice about how to enter the industry.

General information on starting a travel agent can be found here. What is ATAS? Note: a travel intermediary includes a travel agent, travel management company, aggregator, distributor, online travel agent, inbound tour operator, wholesaler and consolidator. How do you apply to be ATAS accredited?

To become an ATAS accredited, applicants must be found to comply with a range of criteria and professional standards. Every year an accredited participant must renew their accreditation and provide updated business compliance details.

Who can become ATAS participants? This includes, but is not limited to, a travel agent, Travel Management Company, aggregator, distributor, online travel agent, inbound tour operator, wholesaler and a consolidator. Why should my business be ATAS accredited? ATAS is an important third party industry endorsement. What are the ATAS participant benefits?

Click below to view the member benefits. Member Benefit Flyer 8. Simply, register to become an ATAS participant and complete our easy step-by-step process online. Apply to become ATAS accredited 9. The application process to become an ATAS participant and hold ATAS Accreditation, involves completing an online application which will vet your business against a range of criteria.

Measures include business compliance, commercial safeguards, workforce development, dispute resolution and complaints handling processes. Once you have satisfied the selection criteria and have been approved an annual participation fee will apply. To apply, simply create a login here to get started.

Is accreditation mandatory? Whilst we strongly recommend it, it is not compulsory for travel agents to be accredited. In addition to ATAS accreditation, travel agents can be accredited by a number of other organisations within their industry, such as the International Air Transport Association Contact the relevant organisations for more information about these accreditation schemes.

Why is ATAS not mandatory? What are the categories and fees associated with ATAS participation? A start-up business is defined as a business that is in the first stages of its operation, and has either recently started trading or is about to commence trading. ATAS participation scheme criteria What are the eligibility criteria for ATAS participation? ATAS participant applications will be vetted against 8 selection criteria including business compliance, commercial safeguards, workforce development, dispute resolution and complaints handling processes.

The 8 selection criteria are outlined below. Abide by the ATAS Code of Conduct The Code of Conduct will outline the minimum standards of good practice for travel intermediaries to follow and offer a consistent approach to all participants.

Consumer Protection and Engagement ATAS participants will need to ensure they are fulfilling a complete duty of care for their clients by adhering to the below: Comply with Australian Consumer Law with respect to the way they carry out their business Ensure that all marketing and advertising material complies with Australian Consumer Law Deed Poll will need to be signed by the travel intermediary 4.

Business Compliance ATAS participants will be required to provide evidence that they are a fit and proper entity with the following documentation upon first-time application and annual renewal applications. Commercial Safeguards Insurance provides customers with greater confidence in the travel intermediary, and the travel intermediary with a level of protection and minimising risk exposure.

A copy of the insurance policy and expiration date will be required as part of the application documentation. Workforce Development Adequately skilled employees are important to assist in providing a quality service to customers. Travel consultants that hold qualifications can provide customers with greater confidence in the travel agent. Front line selling positions includes those employees that are directly selling travel bookings to consumers.

Complaint Handling and Customer Dispute Resolution In order to provide a level of comfort to customers to ensure any problems are addressed appropriately, participants are required to have an internal process for handling disputes and complaints by customers, which is free and accessible.

Start-up Business Supporting Documentation For any start-up businesses wishing to apply for ATAS accreditation, there are a number of additional documents that are required to establish if the applicant is fit and proper and financially solvent. We may seek an increase in working capital to ensure funding is available for the first year of trading. At the discretion of the Compliance Manager, you may be required to sign a Monitoring Agreement for a minimum of 12 months. I am a start-up business, what additional documentation do I need to provide?

A majority of start-up businesses are likely to experience a period where expenses exceed revenue. Therefore, when reviewing an application for ATAS accreditation from a start-up company, AFTA will consider the following: Whether the applicant is fit and proper; The track record if any of the principals of the company; The structure of the applicant company; and Financial solvency — the applicant will need to demonstrate how the full financial resources and solvency requirements will be met.

Start up businesses will also need to meet special Criteria 9: The following documentation must be provided with an application: A forecast operational budget 12 month minimum — outlining cash reserves, borrowing capacity or details of other means available to meet operational expenses and the estimated timing of revenues and expenses.

Note — AFTA does not expect that start-up businesses will have all systems, controls, procedures and resources in place prior to trading commencing. However, it is expected that an appropriate start-up plan has been developed, and can be articulated, to demonstrate a creditable timeline for identifying and setting out how systems, controls, procedures and resources, that will be required by the time the applicant commences trading, will be established and implemented.

What financial information is required for ATAS participation? Financial information provided to ATAS will vary depending on whether the participant is subject to an audit or not. NO - The participant is required to provide a Balance Sheet and Income Statement certified by a duly authorised person within the entity annually. Will my financial documentation be kept private and confidential? Your information will at all times be treated as commercial in confidence and is both private and secure.

AFTA recognises that commercial confidentially is important to you and will at all ensure your commercial situations are kept confidential. Can online travel agents be ATAS participants? Yes, all business entities that sell travel on behalf of a travel supplier are eligible to become an ATAS participant.

What is the ATAS deed poll? The ATAS Deed Poll is an important part of the application process and is a legally binding declaration that the participant understands and accepts the conditions of ATAS participation.

Provides a declaration of solvency to accompany financial information provided under criteria 4 - business compliance. Who can certify accounts and agree to the Deed Poll? A duly authorised individual from the applying entity is responsible for agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined in the deed poll and certifying financial information provided to AFTA.


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