Wendy Paradis, ACTA.
The Office de la Protection du Consommateur (OPC), the consumer protection agency in Quebec that is responsible for certifying travel agents in the province, has waived permit fees from 31MAR, 2021 until 28FEB, 2022.
The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) says it is “very pleased” with the announcement. The association is one of several which has been advocating for the Quebec government to extend financial relief and waive all OPC fees.
“Without assistance, many travel agencies will not survive the current lockdowns and government restrictions on travel,” said Wendy Paradis, President of ACTA.
According to ACTA, the OPC collects hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from Quebec travel businesses.
ACTA is also calling on the OPC and the Quebec government to look at other options to reduce the financial burden for travel agencies, including:
1) To reduce the amount of the bond and the length of time to five years.
2) To replace costly review engagements with a verification statement for travel agencies with gross sales under $2 million, which would align with measures in Quebec and Ontario.
3) To ensure travel agencies will not face barriers and are eligible to apply for aid under the Aide aux entreprises en régions en alerte maximale (AERAM). This funding program is designed to help businesses which have been partially or completely closed due to the mandate of a public health authority. ACTA says, “With governments strongly reinforcing the message to not travel, travel agencies and travel agents have been effectively ‘shuttered’ since March 2020, and therefore, must be eligible under this program.”
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.