THE Association of Independent Tour Operators is urging the Government to take a tougher line on transparency by insisting multiples display their tour operator names on shop windows.
Under current proposals, multiples will only have to name their tour operator parent on the shop front.
"We welcome the order but believe the operator brands should be displayed on the outside of the shop," said AITO chairman John Bennett. "The brands will be displayed inside but once people are in a shop they find it hard to walk away."
AITOhas written to the Office of Fair Trading to express its views. Interested parties have until September 15 to make their submissions before consumer affairs minister Kim Howells orders multiples to make their ownership links clear.
AITO is also worried that independent agents could be disadvantaged if operators display their ownership links with retailers on brochures. For example, it fears a customer wanting a Panorama holiday will see it is linked with Going Places and make the booking through the multiple.
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