Code of ethics
Code of ethics and professional conduct for the members of ARF-Québec
By virtue of becoming a member of the Association des Agences Réceptives et Forfaitistes du Québec (hereinafter referred to as “the Association”) or renewing membership in the Association, every member, every member organization and/or every representative of a member organization hereby agrees to comply with this code of ethics and to promote compliance with and dissemination of this code.
Every member must respect and preserve the integrity, honour, dignity and reputation of the Association, the other members of the Association and the travel industry, particularly in respect of relations with sector colleagues, customers or the general public.
Every member must participate in and collaborate on the initiatives and activities of the Association in order to promote the common interests of its membership and to ensure the progress of the travel industry.
Every member must comply with the regulations and the decisions of the Association.
Every member must refrain from creating the impression that he or she is the spokesperson of the Association if he or she is not a member of the Board of Directors or if he or she has not been specifically mandated to represent the Association in a particular field or for a specific purpose.
Every member must obtain the permission of the Board of Directors, the President of the Association or the General Manager of the Association prior to representing the Association in dealings with any organization.
Every member agrees to pay his/her annual dues or any additional dues within the prescribed times and according to the forms indicated by the Board of Directors.
Duties and obligations toward the other members
Every member must respect the other members of the Association and conduct him- or herself toward them respectfully and courteously, in particular when making any statements or when participating in any activities.
Every member must adopt an attitude of fairness in his or her business relations with the other members of the Association and toward the tourism sector in general.
Every member must hold all the valid permits in order to package the offering of products and services.
Respecting all packages created by members of the Association, packages may not, in any way, be: degrading or discriminatory toward anyone, bear connotations of a sexual, racial or similar type, etc.
At all times, packages must comply with provisions of Quebec statutes and regulations bearing on “the advertisement of travel agents” and “the advertisement of travel agents on the Internet and transactional sites”, as specified by the Quebec Office de la Protection du Consommateur. For further details, please consult: http://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/WebForms/Commercants/AgentVoyage.aspx
Only members of ARF-Québec may, as an exclusive privilege, register their packages online on the portal known as ESPACESBUS.CA.
Conflicts of interest
Every member must avoid placing him- or herself in a situation of conflict of interest.
Without limiting the generality of the above, a member is in a situation of conflict of interest whenever he or she:
Takes part in the adoption of a position, a decision or any other commitment of the Association whenever his/her interests and/or those of his/her business, organization or employer are of a nature that the member may be inclined to prefer his/her interests or those of his/her business, organization or employer to the interests of the Association, the members of the Association or the travel industry.
Places him- or herself in a position such that his or her loyalty toward the Association, the Association’s membership and/or the travel industry could be open to doubt.
A discipline committee (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”), consisting of three (3) members of the Board of Directors of the Association, shall be created by the Board of Directors.
The members of the Committee are appointed by the Board of Directors of the Association.
The quorum of the Committee is two (2) members.
The Board of Directors or a member in good standing may make a complaint in writing against a member.
A copy of the complaint shall be forwarded to the member concerned by the complaint thus formulated.
The Committee shall gather facts in relation to the source of the complaint.
The member who is the subject of a complaint may demand in writing to be heard by the Committee in order to make known the reasons for which the complaint should not be given consideration.
Following its inquiry, the Committee shall decide on the outcome of the complaint by taking into consideration whether or not the action or actions that are subject of the complaint are liable to harm the honour, dignity and/or credibility of the Association, its members, the profession of tour operator and/or the tourism industry in general, or whether or not the facts ascribed to the member are in violation of the present code of ethics.
The decisions of the Committee shall be adopted by a majority of its members.
The decisions of the Committee shall be delivered in writing, with the reasons for the decision being given at the discretion of the Committee.
A copy of the written decision rendered by the Committee must be remitted or transferred to the member concerned.
The Committee may impose on any defaulting member one or more of the following penalties:
a) a reprimand;
b) temporary suspension or expulsion, with either no refund of the annual dues and/or any additional dues, or with partial refund of any dues;
c) expulsion from the Board of Directors and/or any committee, where applicable.
The Committee may submit to the Board of Directors of the Association any suggestion or recommendation that it deems useful or necessary.
Any member who is the subject of a penalty on the part of the Committee may request that the Board of Directors review the decision rendered by the Committee.
Any member who requests a review by the Board of Directors must send his or her request for review in writing during the ten (10) days following his or her being notified of the decision by the discipline committee.
The Board of Directors, following a review of the file according to the forms and within the time it deems appropriate, may confirm or invalidate, wholly or in part, the decision of the Committee.
The Board of Directors shall notify the member concerned of the decision it renders as a result of the review process.
To sum up, by subscribing to the present code of ethics, every member must comply with the regulations of the Association and contribute to the smooth running of the Association.
This code was last amended on May 22, 2009.
Every member must sign as indication that he or she has fully read and accepted these regulations.