Code of Ethics followed by OTOAI
OTOAI, since inception has followed a stringent set of ethics and standards in its conduct, which is something it has proudly maintained in all these years. Here’s a detailed look at its Standards of Professional Conduct –
- Knowledge of the Law
Members of the Outbound Travel Industry must understand and comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations (including OTOAI Code of Ethics and Standard of Professional Conduct) of any government, regulatory organisation, licensing agency or professional association governing their professional activities. No member should, knowingly or unknowingly, participate or assist another person in any act that leads to violation of any law, rules or regulations.
- Independence and Objectivity
Members of the Outbound Travel Industry must use reasonable care and judgment to achieve and maintain independence and objectivity in their professional activities. Acting responsibly, they should not offer, solicit, or accept any gift, benefit, compensation, or consideration that reasonably could be expected to compromise their own or another person’s independence and objectivity.
Members must not knowingly make any misrepresentation relating to travel arrangements, recommendations, actions or other professional activities. Everything should be documented and all deliverables should be clearly stated so as to not to create a situation of confusion.
Members of the outbound travel fraternity must not engage in any professional conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud or deceit with either the clients or the industry stakeholders. They must refrain from committing any act that reflects adversely on their professional reputation, integrity or competence.
INTEGRITY OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
- Market Manipulations
Members must try to not engage in practices that distort prices or artificially inflate volume with the intent to mislead market participants. They should try to help present and honest and fair picture of the outbound travel market in India.
- Cooperating with the Research Bodies
Agencies who are active in collating data, building statistics or filing reports, often approach members of the travel trade. Members must cooperate with such research bodies and play an active role in presenting a clear and positive image of the industry.
DUTIES TOWARDS CLIENTS
- Loyalty, Prudence and Care
Members of the travel trade have a duty of loyalty towards their clients and must act with reasonable care and exercise prudent judgment. Members must function for the benefit of their clients and place their clients’ interests before their own interests. They must always follow the basic principle – Client is Supreme.
- Fair Dealing
Members must deal fairly and objectively with all its clients when providing travel advice, making recommendations, making reservations or engaging in other professional activities. He must keep the interest of the client before his own vested interest and serve them with utmost honesty.
- Communication with Clients
An important part of any successful business is clear and transparent communication. Thus, the members of the travel trade must take care to communicate information to the clients in a fair and accurate manner always. Complete and just information will reduce their chances of conflict with the client and enable smooth functioning.
- Preservation of Confidentiality
Members must keep information about current, former and prospective clients confidential unless the information they possess concerns illegal activities on the part of the client or prospective client and disclosure of the same is required by law. Also, disclosure of the client information should always be done after taking due permission from him.
DUTIES TOWARDS EMPLOYERS
- Responsibilities of Supervisors
Members must make reasonable efforts to detect and prevent violations of applicable laws, rules, regulations and the Code and Standards by anyone subject to their supervision or authority.
- Misuse of Official Resources
Members working in either a small, mid-segment or a large travel business conglomerate must never misuse official resources, such as office property, official data and records for either personal or professional use. They must respect official resources made accessible to them.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
- Disclosure of Conflicts
Members must make full and fair disclosure of all matters that could reasonably be expected to impair their independence and objectivity or interfere with respective duties to their clients and prospective clients. Members must ensure that such disclosures are prominent, are delivered in plain language and communicate the relevant information to the client effectively.