The U.S. travel industry has been rocked by a string of auditors that accuse companies of not paying their fair share of travelers.
The auditors allege that some companies do not pay their fair shares of travelers for two or three months after they arrive in the country.
Travelers who don’t pay their share could get denied entry to the U.K., for example, according to the audit group, which is calling for changes to the system.
“When you’re getting to your destination, you want to be getting your money’s worth.
And you don’t want to feel like you’re going to lose it,” says Alex Smith, executive director of the Travel Industry Association.
“You want to know that you’re not going to have to pay for the next four months.”
Smith says it is the auditors who are making the real decisions.
“They’re the ones that decide how long a stay should be, how long you can stay in the U, how many hours of work you can do and how much time you have,” he says.
“It’s the government and the auditing companies that are supposed to be looking after the citizens.”
While the audit groups claims may seem exaggerated, the audited travelers have been working on the problem for a long time.
The groups said that about 1.6 million people have been audited in the last five years, but it is only getting worse, as new countries add to the list.
It’s not clear how many of those people are actually paying their share.
Travel industry groups have complained that the U-TAs have been understaffed, that auditors have not been thorough enough, and that the agencies are not being reimbursed properly.
The Travel Industry Alliance says the audit is a result of a lack of accountability and an overburdened government.
“The U.k. has the most audited travel industry in the world,” Smith says.
He says he and other groups want to make sure that the government can get to the bottom of what’s going on.
“I don’t think it is going to stop the audits,” he adds.
“We are here to fight.”
Travel industry groups are pushing for the UTRs to be paid more, with travel auditors being paid more.
Smith says they are trying to do the right thing, even if the government is not.