ACTA is appealing to agent members to help support its efforts in convincing the federal government that current travel restrictions are paralyzingly the industry.
Uncertainty around borders reopening and the easing of travel restrictions is paralyzing the travel industry, says the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA). The organization has mounted an urgent appeal to the federal government to provide clarity on the ongoing advisory against non-essential travel for Canadians and extend financial support programs to help the industry survive through the uncertainty.
“We really need clarity on the criteria that will be used to modify or remove the travel advisory and border closures,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA.
“Right now, the industry is somewhat paralyzed by these restrictions and while we understand that the health of Canadians is paramount, we need some indication of what the plan is from the federal government to ease restrictions.”
Without a clear vision for when travel will resume, the uncertainty and prospect of booking travel remains a challenge for travel agencies. It has negatively impacted the consumer’s confidence in travel and has also contributed to ongoing demand for refunds, ACTA says.
ACTA says it is continuing its advocacy work with the federal government on a number of fronts and is calling on the help of the industry to support its objectives.
“ACTA has continuously stressed to the government that the travel industry will be one of the last industries to recover and thus extensions are critical for our sector,” Paradis said.
While ACTA welcomed this week’s announcement that the government is extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) into DEC 2020, it says it is “concerned about the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program expiring in AUG and a likely return to employment insurance (EI) because EI in its present form is not available to independent travel agents.”
ACTA is urging the government to address the fact that independent travel agents are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits and is emphasizing the importance of continuing the CERB program in “some form of sector specific aid.”
ACTA is calling on travel advisors to help reinforce the need for continued financial relief and the impact of COVID 19 on their business by contacting their local MP either by email or phone.
“Telling agents’ personal stories to MPs brings a reality to what is happening in their riding,” ACTA says.
ACTA has a letter template and telephone script available on its website.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ’s newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she’s new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.