Attractions Ontario‘s Are We There Yet? Field Trip Planner was developed in consultation with the Student Youth Travel Association, Ontario Motor Coach Association, tour operators focusing on the student travel market, retired teachers, and School Board representatives. This province-wide publication is designed to present quality, curriculum-based educational programs to teachers and youth group leaders across Ontario.
This publication is currently in the market. As well, Attractions Ontario supplies a digital version of the guide directly to teachers via school board internal e-mail; 53 school boards agreed to distribute this on our behalf. We will also be producing a limited number of printed copies for those Boards that require a printed copy, or for those that request them.
What the Ontario Travel Industry Act States: Teachers are exempt ONLY when the following criteria are met:
A Travel Service is defined as “transportation, sleeping accommodation or other services for the use of a traveller, tourist or sightseer”.
A Travel Agent means “a person who sells, to consumers, travel services provided by another person”.
Note: This is an interpretation of the Act only – please see the Travel Industry Act 2002 and its regulations dated July 1st, 2005 for all details and legal requirements.)
Companies registered under the Travel Industry Act are required to meet strict financial criteria including working capital requirements and trust accounting thereby protecting travellers by holding payments in a trust account.
In January 2008, Canada’s driver hours of service rules were substantially changed and impacts are being felt by bus companies, tour operators, teachers and school boards. One of the biggest changes is the 16-hour limit on the length of a driver’s work shift, meaning a driver who reports to work at 6 am runs out of hours at 10pm that day. Another change is that bus drivers must be off-duty a full 8 consecutive hours between work shifts, whereas previously this break could be shortened. A third change is that bus drivers must have a 24-hour break every 14 days, regardless of how many hours are worked. The new rules have necessitated itinerary alterations and in some cases, a trip previously done by one driver may require a second driver for part of the journey. Teachers, principals and school board officials should note that the new rules now make the user of the service culpable in cases where the driver is requested, required or allowed to break the rules. This applies to school boards, principals, teachers and parent chaperones, etc. Therefore, it’s important for persons responsible for organizing or accompanying student trips to work with the carrier to ensure trips can be conducted legally under the new regulations.
We can provide lists of our members who are legally registered as a travel agent/retailer and who plan group tours, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Please refer to the Travel Industry Act of Ontario for details of the law. The above is for information purposes only and is our interpretation of the Act. The Travel Industry Act can be found on the TICO website at www.tico.ca.
Founded in 1929, the OMCA is a full-service trade association representing 80 bus operators, over 100 tour operators and over 800 affiliated sellers to the group tour industry including attractions, destinations, hotels, and retail outlets across North America. Operator members provide scheduled intercity, charter, tour, school bus, contract, shuttle, airport and transit services. The OMCA works with all levels of government to outline the industry’s contributions and concerns regarding a seamless, sustainable public and private passenger transportation network.
Attractions Ontario would like to recognize First Student as its sponsor for the 2015 Field Trip Planner