ACTA has heard clearly from its member travel agencies and independent travel agents across Canada that without a roadmap to recovery from the government, it is difficult to make any plans for the future or to commit to applying for any of the government loan programs and amassing more debt.
ACTA is making these points to government in its ongoing meetings, calling on the federal government on the need to develop a clear Roadmap for Recovery.
Described in ACTA’s 2021 Tourism and Travel Recovery Plan, ACTA has pointed out that while the travel industry is putting health and safety measures in place, it needs the government to work with industry on rapid testing, contact tracing, vaccine documentation and protocols– in order to ease travel advisories and reduce quarantine measures over time.
“Without a plan, Canada will be left behind”
“We are already hearing of other countries reconsidering investing in Canada as a destination and as an outbound market, given Canada’s lack of planning and conditions required for the restart of travel. We need the plan in order to keep Canada globally competitive…inbound and outbound,” said ACTA’s president, Wendy Paradis.
According to the association, the message it’s relaying to the government is that the travel industry cannot afford to wait until after the pandemic is over for a travel restart plan.
ACTA has urged the government to develop clear data-driven criteria for the conditions required for the restart of travel that includes:
- A continued robust and effective vaccine rollout plan
- A national testing and contact tracing strategy
- Digital verification tools for international travel
- Reduction of mandatory hotel stopover
- Reducing or eliminating the 14-day quarantine
- Easing of Travel Advisories
“Even with the roll out of vaccines well underway, ACTA understands that large events and widespread travel may not be possible today as we are still in the third wave,” said Paradis.
“However, projections show that Canada will be in very good shape with vaccines by mid to late summer of 2021. We need a roadmap that outlines clear metrics for re-opening. We need to GET READY,” she said.
“We are encouraged that in ACTA meetings with Members of Parliament and senior government officials, we are hearing that planning is well underway. We are also finally seeing and hearing the government speak publicly about vaccine documentation and testing tools, and alignment with other G20 countries more and more over the past few weeks,” said Paradis.
“We expect this to continue as we get closer to the G7 Summit in early June. We understand there is some reluctance to roll out Canada’s Roadmap for fear of sending mixed messages to Canadians while we are in the midst of a third wave.”
ACTA meets with Health Canada Friday to issue an urgent request for a Roadmap to Recovery and to discuss its recommendations.