Travel Agent Appreciation

Keep The Pressure On: ACTA Says

Government Needs To Extend Benefits, Clarify Travel Advisory, Border Plans

ACTA is looking for continued support from the industry as it continues its advocacy work with the federal government.

This week, ACTA welcomed the government’s announcement that the wage subsidy program – CEWS – was being extended into December 2020, with association president, Wendy Paradis commenting:

“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.”

But Paradis noted that: “We are concerned about the CERB program expiring in August and a likely return to EI because EI in its present form is not available to independent travel agents.”

As a result of those concerns, ACTA is urging the government to address the fact that independent travel agents are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits and the importance of the CERB program to this group of travel agents must continue in some form of sector specific aid.

Of critical concern to travel agencies – and the travel industry as a whole — is the uncertainty of when the borders will open and what criteria is required to ease border restrictions.

ACTA notes that without the clear establishment of criteria, 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.

The association points out that some countries have started to open up and are accepting Canadians, yet reciprocal agreements have not been extended by Canada.

Said Paradis: “We really need clarity on the criteria that will be used to modify or remove the travel advisory and border closures. 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.”

To that end, ACTA is asking all travel agents 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. ACTA has a letter template and telephone script available on its website. Telling agents’ personal stories to MPs brings a reality to what is happening in their riding.

ACTA is also asking the industry to participate in its social media campaign, sharing ACTA posts on LinkedIn and retweeting ACTA messages on Twitter. Twitter is an important forum for ACTA’s advocacy work to gather attention.

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Posted in COVID-19, News, Tourism Organizations, Travel Agents