STATE ISSUES WARNING AGAINST UNLICENSED TRAVEL AGENT

Written on the 10 June 2010

STATE ISSUES WARNING AGAINST UNLICENSED TRAVEL AGENT

THE State Government’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued a warning for consumers after alleging a Coomera-based travel company is operating without a license.

Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor alleges businesswoman Jill Baker has been operating her travel agency Coomera Cruise and Travel despite having her license suspended in January.

"Ms Baker has been made well aware of the fact that she is now breaking the law by working without a licence. She is known to currently go by the business name of Coomera Cruise and Travel," says Lawlor.

"Ms Baker previously had a travel business trading as Travelworld Upper Coomera at the Hub Shopping Centre, however the franchise arrangement with Travelworld no longer exists."
Baker is the director of Baker Taylor Pty Ltd.

Lawlor says the OFT cancelled Baker's licence because her membership with the Travel Compensation Fund - a pre-requisite for holding travel agent licence in Queensland - had been terminated.

He says enforcing travel agents to hold licences protects consumers against potential fraudulent practices, while a free online license check is available through the OFT website.

"Travel and holidays cost a lot of money and you put a lot of trust in these people to make arrangements for you. It's worth doing a check to see if they are licensed.

"You can look up the name of the person who holds the licence, their registered business name and place of business, status of licence and licence number. It enables them to be checked out by the OFT to ensure that they are suitable to hold a licence.”

Gold Coast Business News attempted to contact Jill Baker for a right of reply. Her company should not be confused with North Sydney accountancy firm Baker Taylor Pty Ltd.

Under the Travel Agents Act 1988, people who work unlicensed as travel agents face fines of up to $100,000.


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