CATO updates terms and conditions

THE Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has begun a review of its Industry Standard Booking Terms and Conditions, following changes to unfair contract term laws announced by the ACCC.

CATO lawyer and Board Member Aaron Zoanetti, who will lead the review, shared that “significant penalties may apply to businesses that include unfair contract terms in their standard form contracts. For tour operators and travel wholesalers active in the Australian market this relates to their booking terms and conditions”.

“When Australian consumers are travelling overseas, the booking terms and conditions sit between the consumer and the tour operator/wholesaler (known as the principal). These T&C’s are very different to (and should not be confused with) the T&C’s of a retail agent that outline the terms of their service (not the terms of the travel contract).”

CATO members who already use the association’s T&Cs will receive suggested amendments to make particular provisions commonly applied within the industry less likely to be considered unfair, with Zoanetti able to provide any further tailoring requirements.

“It is critical that member businesses implement a mitigation strategy to reduce the risk of enforcement action being taken. Members that have not reviewed their booking terms and conditions or who may be new to CATO, should note that they have access to CATO Industry Standard Booking Terms and Conditions, at exclusive member rates that includes a free 30-min consultation with Aaron,” CATO Managing Director Brett Jardine said.

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