The collapse of discount airline Jetsgo Corp. is likely to cast a pall over the travel industry.

"It's bad news all around," says Steve Gillick, president of the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors of Ontario, which offers education and training for travel agents. "It creates some anxiety, some hesitancy, in everybody's mind about what the state of the industry is."

But it's not clear whether the "bad taste" will sour travellers on a popular trend — booking tickets over Internet websites.

More than one-third of Canadians with access to the Web used it to buy travel in 2003, according to a survey by polling firm Ipsos-Reid Corp. That was double the previous year's number. But the sudden demise of Jetsgo, which sold a lot of seats online, has spawned stories of travellers stuck with little hope of compensation.

They might abandon the Internet and book flights, as well as cars, hotels and other services, through registered agents, who — in three provinces — are covered by compensation plans.

"In the long run, maybe people will get the idea that's the safest, most competent way to travel," Gillick says.

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