ACTA met with federal minister of tourism, Randy Boissonnault, on 03AUG as part of the stakeholder consultation process for the development of Ottawa’s Tourism Growth Strategy. As outlined in this year’s Federal Budget, the Tourism Growth Strategy’s goal is to plot a course for growth, investment and stability in Canada’s travel and tourism sector.
Specific areas of focus for the federal government are labour gaps and instability, investment attraction and destination development, and long-term economic growth across the country.
ACTA made a submission for the Tourism Growth Strategy, with 8 key recommendations that support travel agencies and independent travel agents. They are:
- Attract and retain a sustainable travel & tourism workforce
- Embrace a whole-of-government approach, including all Ministries in the strategy
- Improve access for travellers to and within Canada
- Tie any new COVID-19 restrictions with financial subsidies for hard-hit travel & tourism businesses
- Ensure independent travel agents are included in future federal support programs
- Forgive federal COVID-19 loans for hard-hit travel & tourism businesses
- Build a regenerative and inclusive travel & tourism industry to rebuild an economically stable sector
- Mandate that travel agent commission protection be included in all federal supplier support programs
ACTA’s recommendations were developed in close cooperation with the Coalition of Hardest-Hit Businesses, where it is a member of the steering committee, to build industry consensus.
The 03AUG meeting between ACTA and the Minister of Tourism allowed the organization to share its recommendations personally.
ACTA calls the session “a productive discussion with the ACTA team and board members,” with Boissonnault sharing that “he values the role Canada’s travel agencies and independent travel agents play in Canada’s travel and tourism industry and looks forward to continued dialogue with ACTA and its Members.”