"Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility" Guiding Principles for IATO Members
The Primary aims and objectives of this Code of Conduct are:
— To ensure that the Tourist, receives the best possible service from IATO Members.
—To enhance the reputation, standing and good will of IATO
and its Members.
IATO has a long standing reputation and good will of being the travel industry's seal of approval when it comes to the professionalism of our members as service providers. We operate in a world, where relationships between Suppliers / Service Providers and Customers have become more complex and intricate. The members of IATO hereby pledge themselves to conduct their business activities in a manner that promotes the ideal of integrity in travel trade and agree to adhere to applicable sections of the following principles of the IATO Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility & accountability, thereby setting up standards / bench marks, for quality service, befitting of being an IATO MEMBER.
Complaints arising under this Code shall be filed in writing with the IATO Legal & Grievance Cell.
IATO has the following categories of membership: Active, Allied, Associate and Honorary.
As a basis of all actions, business and non business, taken by our members, we believe that -
A. We believe in treating others as we ourselves would like to be treated.
B. We believe in dealing honestly and fairly with each other's clients, Providers of services, employees or employers past and present, and with the general public.
C. We recognize the right of those with whom we deal to make a profit.
D. We believe that business profitability is not only a right, but an obligation in order to preserve the continuity of our business and the quality of our Product and service.
E. We believe that we have the responsibility constantly to strive to improve our product and service to make it the best value possible.
F. We believe that the best interests of all are served when we pay fair wages and provide steady employment, education, practical training on business ethics and career opportunities for our employees.
G. We believe in a policy of proper conduct with courtesy to all individuals with whom we deal, and provide prompt and undisputedly excellent service to all our customers and business associates.
H. We expect all IATO members to represent their companies and their products and services honestly, diligently and proudly.
I. We believe that we have a responsibility to our customers, suppliers, business associates, and fellow IATO members, and this should take precedence over all other interests.
J. We believe that there is an interaction between business policies and social responsibilities, and that all business policies should be aimed at the mutual satisfaction of all business associates.
Responsibilities of IATO Members:
1. Accuracy. IATO members should be factual and accurate when providing information about their services and the services of any firm they represent. They shall not indulge in any deceptive practices.
2. Disclosure. IATO members will provide in writing, upon written logical request, complete details about the cost, restrictions, and other terms and conditions, of any travel service sold, including cancellation and service fee policies. Full details of the time, place, duration, and nature of any sales or promotional presentation the customer will be required to attend in connection with his/her travel arrangements and shall be disclosed in writing before any payment is accepted.
3. Responsiveness. IATO members will promptly respond substantively to their clients' and suppliers queries and complaints.
4. Refunds. IATO members will remit any undisputed funds under their control within the specified time limit. Reasons for delay in providing funds will be given to the claimant promptly.
5. Cooperation. IATO members will cooperate with any inquiry conducted by IATO to resolve any dispute involving consumers.
6. Confidentiality. IATO members will treat every client transaction confidentially and not disclose any information without permission of the client, unless required by law.
7. Affiliation. IATO members will not falsely represent a person's affiliation with their firm.
8. Conflict of Interest. IATO members will not allow any preferred relationship with a supplier to interfere with the interests of their clients.
9. Compliance. IATO members shall not have been convicted of a violation ofany central, state and local laws and regulations affecting consumers. Pleas of nolo contend ere, consent judgments, judicial or administrative decrees, or orders, and assurances of voluntary compliance and similar agreements with central or state authorities shall be deemed convictions for purposes of these provisions.
10. Relationship amongst Members
(a) An IATO member shall use the IATO logos as an emblem of the highest standards of professional conduct and service.
(b) No member shall solicit a proposal or seek terms, conditions, format or ideas from another with the intent of taking unfair advantage of the information which may be obtained as a result of the solicitation or with deliberate intent of using that information to manage his/her own program without the services of that company.
(c) Member shall use a supplier's complimentary services to visit a destination for an inspection with specific present or future interest to place business at that destination and with that supplier.
(d) No member shall take confidential information or creative ideas of his/her competition and/or current or former employer(s) and present them to customers as his/her own exclusive creation.
(e) No member shall take confidential information or creative ideas and send them to competitors of the supplier for any reason.
(f) No member shall knowingly make false or misleading statements:
1. About competitors.
2. To secure otherwise confidential information.
3. About the member's expertise or ability successfully and professionally to meet a potential client's needs.
4. A b o u t r a t e s , c o s t s , a c c o m m o d a t i o n s , transportation, capacities or any other factors regarding a proposed program.
(g) Member shall solicit a proposal from a supplier with fair intent to consider the proposal.
(h) No member shall intentionally or negligently misinform or mislead, by act or omission, his/her clients about actual conditions or existing services and his/her ability to deliver a program.
(I) Members must protect the confidentiality of all business arrangements and not knowingly reveal details of such agreements.
(j) A member shall honor signed contracts in spirit as well as in intent and will make every effort to honor all commitments, both written and verbal, as may be legally required.
(k) A member shall deal honestly and fairly with all members and business associates.
(i) An IATO member shall assist in maintaining the integrity of IATO's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, should report promptly to IATO any information concerning a violation of IATO Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and, upon request, shall disclose any information concerning any alleged violation thereof to IATO to facilitate an investigation of any such alleged violation.
(m)An IATO member should maintain and raise professional standards in the inbound tourism industry and support the development, improvement and enforcement of such regulations and codes, thereby fostering competence and ethical conduct on the part of all IATO members and thereby benefiting the public.
(a) IATO believe that the best interests of all are served when we pay fair wages and provide steady employment, education, and career opportunities for our employees.
(b) IATO members ensure that applicants for e m p l o y m e n t s h a l l n o t m i s r e p r e s e n t t h e i r qualifications and experience in the tourism industry, shall not claim to be in a discipline in which they do not belong at the time of application, and shall not seek unjustified references or otherwise mislead their employer or potential employer.
(c) IATO member before recruiting an employee, issue the Letter of Intent and at the time of the joining of the employee seek the Clearance Certificate / leaving Certificate from previous employer.
(d) In turn, an IATO members will engage in fair play when relieving an employee and give all appropriate clearances and not unfairly put the employee at risk by not issuing a "Clearance Certificate" when due.
(e) While appointing employees, IATO member must ensure that they allow the new hire adequate time to do their proper handover at their previous employer and allow them to fulfill their mandated notice periods.
(f) No member shall solicit / demand / take from a new employee any confidential information or creative ideas of his/her previous employer.
(g) A employee intending to leave his/her employer and work for another firm or to establish his/her own company shall abstain from soliciting future business for himself/herself or another company, and shall not displace any confirmed business or take advantage of confidential information as long as he/she is under contract to the last employer, current or former employer(s) and present them to customers as his/her own exclusive creation.
(h) Any misrepresentation of fact by employees should be reported by IATO members to IATO Secretariat. So that, all the other members are alerted and cautioned.
12. Compliance and Conclusion
It implies that, IATO members have read the Code of Conduct, have acceptance and recognition thereof, would follow Code of Conduct in its letter and spirit, and conduct business accordingly. Breach of any of the above articles, may result in a disciplinary action including expulsion from IATO, as wellas reporting to the concerned authorities.
Members shall co-operate in any investigation undertaken by IATO into an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct and shall comply with the procedures of investigation and enforcement.
'Code of Conduct’
1. I will always strive to meet the highest evolving standards of Competence in the profession and add value to organizational success.
2. I will deal with all tourism stakeholders with utmost Integrity and create an environment of trust leading to Ethical success of my organization.
3. I will ensure that I am always reliable and consistent in all my actions by accepting responsibility for my decisions and actions thereby creating Credibility for my profession and myself.
4. I will be objective in all my actions and decisions and foster Fairness with firmness.
5. I will conduct myself in a way that Facilitates Growth and Development of all those I am responsible for.
6. I will strive to be a Role Model for all others and Champion exemplary practice of the tourism profession.
7. I will respect the rights of privacy, will not use my position for personal gains and ensure that there is no Conflict of Interest in what I do with any of tourism stakeholders.