Company or individual details
- Contiki Holidays (Australia) Pty Ltd002 525 340
Contiki is an international travel group of companies offering tours to 18-35 year olds. One of the Contiki group of companies, Contiki Travel Europe, advertises, organises and operates Contiki European tours. Contiki Australia distributes Contiki Europe advertising material in Australia.
In 1999 Contiki Europe chose to represent the Swiss company Adventure World to its passengers as a provided of optional excursion activities whilst at Interlaken in Switzerland. On 29 July 1999, a fatal accident occurred in the Saxetenbach River canyon near Interlaken in Switzerland. 21 people lost their lives and 5 people were injured whilst taking part in the adventure sport of canyoning, organised by Adventure World.
After an investigation, the ACCC considered that there may not have been reasonable grounds for making certain representations in advertising material promoting the European tour for July 1999. The representations included that Contiki Europe would provide a safe environment where a customer's personal safety and security would never be compromised. The ACCC considers that such representations, made in Australia by Contiki Australia, were misleading and deceptive in contravention of sections 52, 53(aa) and 53(c) of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Without admitting liability, Contiki Australia has entered into an undertaking with the Commission pursuant to section 87B of the Act to address the concerns raised:
- it will implement a quality assurance scheme aimed at providing reasonable and verifiable grounds for any representations concerning safety and well being of Contiki travellers that are contained in advertising material distributed by Contiki, including references to third party operators;
- it will appoint a Quality Assurance Officer with overall responsibility for its quality assurance systems;
- it will implement an auditing process in relation to its quality assurance system;
- it will not make representations concerning standards of safety and quality control unless they can be or have been verified by its quality assurance system or auditing process;
- it will refrain from distributing any new advertising and promotional materials containing representations concerning issues of safety until such time as the quality assurance and auditing systems are in place; and
- it will implement a trade practices compliance program for staff that is in accordance with the Australian Standard for Compliance Programs AS3806-1998, with particular regard to the consumer protection provisions of the Act.