Agents Ignoring the Signals
Travel agents tell consumers accreditation is important; do they follow their own advice?
Significant in the Bestjet collapse was a history of failed entities going broke with tax debts to the ATO. Yet travel wholesalers in Australia, who agents tell us to this day are comparable to STUBA, have directors with the same history. They remain on preferred supplier lists.
Bestjet could not get ATAS protection. Agents were not surprised when they went broke, at times quoting “without travel agents, you are on your own” . A company who never applied for ATAS went down in Europe under a different name to the tune of £20 million a decade ago. Lots of Australian travel agents lost serious money.
The same agents later approved that old company under a new name to be a preferred supplier for their group. “They pay us a great commission Mark“. They are still a preferred supplier.
www.afta.com.au/atas/scheme-governance/cancelled-atas-participants shows other companies who no longer have accreditation. The team at AFTA are getting a knack of spotting financials with gaps and sending out the “please explain“. No explanation regularly means more travel entities are added to the list; the more companies who can no longer meet the requirements indicate ATAS is doing its job.
Travel agents would tell consumers that accreditation is important. But are they following their own advice? STUBA has ATAS and globally got S&P scour our books and awarding us a globally recognised “hi credit worthiness rating”. Why? Because it matters.
Are STUBA always the cheapest? Not always.
Trust us? Totally
Will STUBA still love you in the morning? Damn straight baby.