ACTA last week submitted its 2021 Tourism and Travel Industry Recovery Plan to key ministries within the federal government to consider as part of Ottawa’s budget planning process.
The submission is a seven-point plan for travel agency and travel agent support and recovery outlining the following priorities:
- Extension of the Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB) to 30SEP, 2021 or until 90 days after travel restrictions have been eased, as well as extension of the Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits Program.
- Aid to cover commission recall.
- Increase and extension to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
- Amendments to and extension of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).
- Ensure the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan programs work for all “hardest hit” businesses including home-based, independent travel agent businesses.
- Work with industry to develop clear criteria for re-opening borders and easing travel restrictions, through rapid testing and establish vaccine documentation options to reduce or eliminate the 14-day quarantine.
- Incentivize travel through tax credits and promote travel agents.
ACTA’s entire plan can be found here.
ACTA says the primary focus of its lobbying and advocacy efforts right now is solvency for travel agencies and travel agents.
“The many new restrictions and requirements introduced by the federal government have further delayed the recovery for the industry and effectively shut down travel for now,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA. “Our message to the government is plain and simple, our industry needs financial support now and well into the future.”
ACTA welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement Friday that the CRB will be extended for another 12 weeks and EI for another 24 weeks, but Paradis says this falls short of what is needed for the sector.
ACTA is also advocating that the government remove the “red tape and roadblocks” many agencies and advisors are facing when applying for financial support programs.