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Travel Agency Act

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Last Update : 2016/12/8

We promote proper activities by travel agencies, while establishing a registration system and transaction rules for the travel business to ensure proper practices by travel firm operators.

Objective of the Travel Agency Act

The Travel Agency Act aims to maintain fairness in travel business-related transactions, ensure safe travel and improve traveler convenience. It seeks to achieve these goals by establishing a registration system for all travel agencies to ensure proper practices and promote proper activities by the association that these agencies comprise.

Overview of the Travel Business Registration System

According to the scope of their operations, travel agencies are classified into Class 1 Travel Operator, Class 2 Travel Operator, Class 3 Travel Operator and Travel Agency (See chart 1).
Chart 1: Registration category for travel businesses

Operation Bond and Compensation Bond Systems

Travel businesses can be run with relatively modest assets, but the sums involved in their transactions are not necessarily small. Therefore, in order to better protect travelers involved in travel-related transactions with travel operators or travel agencies, the act requires that a deposit be made as an operation bond.
The Compensation Bond System was established by the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) to mitigate the burden of these operating bonds for which individual members are fully responsible under the act. Under JATA's system, each member makes a payment equivalent to one-fifth of the standard operation bond as its share of the compensation bond. The amount is held in a pool by JATA to serve as the collective compensation bond. The system functions as a joint surety for association members.

Guidelines for Online Travel Agents Operating Japanese Websites for Reservations ("OTA Guidelines")

The Japan Tourism Agency deliberated on and formulated appropriate guidelines for display methods on websites of OTAs etc., and issued the "Guidelines for Online Travel Agents Operating Japanese Websites for Reservations" in June 2015.