CCRA said it will stiffen enforcement of rules required to hold a
TRUE code, and agents who don't meet accreditation standards will have 30
days to comply or the code will be purged from CCRA's database and suppliers
will be alerted.
"Until now, agencies who fell out of compliance were
often overlooked -- they were only required to show this information once when
they join, and that's it," said Maggie Fischer, chief marketing officer. "Now
we will be monitoring this on an ongoing basis and citing agencies who aren't
The stricter enforcement will begin on April 1. Any issues
will have to be rectified in 30 days. In addition to being removed from CCRA's
database, suppliers who accept the TRUE code will also be alerted if an agency
is no longer qualified to hold their code via a bulletin from CCRA. The first
bulletin will be sent on May 1, and will be sent monthly thereafter.
Fischer acknowledged that "the more TRUE codes that are
out there, the better for us." However, she said agencies must be held
accountable if standards aren't met.
"This is another step we are taking to make this
independent agency distribution channel about quality and production versus
just sheer size," Fischer said.
CCRA president and CEO Dic Marxen said the emphasis on
enforcement will benefit suppliers and agencies alike.
"This ensures that our suppliers can trust the holders
of any active TRUE code with their business, and that our amazing True agencies
know that no one out there is getting a free ride and not meeting industry
standards," Marxen said.
To hold a TRUE code, agencies must be organized as a
corporation, LLC or sole proprietor; be willing to undergo a background
screening; satisfy seller-of-travel requirements in their state; demonstrate
six months experience selling travel; have three business references; provide
proof of an active business bank account in good standing; and be responsible
for a $240 annual renewal fee after the first year.
Marxen said CCRA aims to "take even greater care in
properly removing inactive codes from not only our systems, but also that of
any supplier partner in our network."