A fight is shaping up in the Nevada legislature over two
proposals to amend the regulations governing sellers of travel.
One bill, AB496, follows state Consumer Affairs office
guidelines suggesting that each travel agent be required to post a
bond of $10,000 to $25,000, depending on business volume. It would
eliminate the current exemption for agents who already have posted
bonds with the Airlines Reporting Corp. to gain its approval
Another bill, AB343, would mandate a $10,000 bond and require
that travel sellers have errors-and-omission insurance, but it
would maintain the ARC exemption.
Agents not affiliated with ARC, but who have maintained a clean
record for at least three years, would also be exempt, as would
travel agency employees and contractors.
The proposals by the consumer affairs office “would put a big
burden on even the smallest travel agents,” said Bonnie McDaniel of
A Quick Trip travel agency in Las Vegas. The second bill was
proposed in response to such agent concerns.
Nevada Consumer Affairs commissioner Patricia Jarman-Manning
said that the exemptions in state Assemblyman John Carpenter’s bill
would “nullify what we’re trying to do.”
Carpenter’s bill would put oversight of travel agencies in the
hands of an elected body of 12 agency owners with a current working
name of Nevada Association of Independent Travel Agents. A 13th
member would be appointed by the state. The bill, still being
drafted at press time, would continue the requirement that agencies
post a $50,000 bond, considered a problem by most agents, and would
also continue the exemption from the bond requirement for
established ARC-appointed agencies.
The main goal of the new regulations, Jarman-Manning said, is to
protect consumers from travel agencies going out of business in
“We don’t think all travel agents are unscrupulous,” she said.
“However, we’ve found many situations where consumers were flat-out
Jarman-Manning said she plans to contact Carpenter to see if a
compromise can be worked out between the two bills.