Rebuilding The Industry Together

The ACTA 2022 Eastern Canada Travel Industry Summit, which is a national conference from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), kicked off a three-city whistle stop national tour in Toronto yesterday, reports Press Today’s Ilona Kauremszky.

The travel trade show, on hiatus since the start of the pandemic, and which usually convened provincially, held its first in-person summit at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre. Travel agents, industry partners and key stakeholder suppliers participated in a full-day of seminars, giving participants the inside scoop on a variety of topics tackling the trade as of late.

In her opening address, Wendy Paradis, president of ACTA stressed the importance of togetherness as key in rebuilding the travel economy, and reassured the 330 participants that despite the upcoming fall’s flu season with the potential of new COVID-19 variants emerging, the network will be advocating the federal government for the travel industry to remain open.

“We’re going to be advocating while you are going to be selling so that we could keep this travel industry throughout the rest of 2022 and the winter of 2023,” she noted.

ACTA’s president also told her audience that the association has been meeting regularly with industry and government officials, advocating for strategies that will not disrupt the travel economy as it did at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 when government regulations forced business closures across the board.


“We are concerned about some of the modelling and some of the federal government’s potential action,” Paradis indicated and explained that ACTA is doing everything possible in ensuring border closures do not happen again.


ACTA Summit emcee Lorraine Simpson, Cityline TV travel expert, provided commentary and introduced guest speakers for the event’s two panel discussions as well as the three morning educational breakout sessions and the back-to-back afternoon sessions.

Attendees were able to rub shoulders during a networking lunch sponsored by Air Canada, Manulife, Globus Family of Brands and Visit Portugal, giving colleagues a chance to reconnect plus the opportunity to meet with potential new business partners.

Over 60 exhibitors gathered at the Grand Trade show with dozens of prize giveaways. Celestyal Cruises gave away a cabin for two around the Greek Islands. Air Transat and Porter had serious swag bags while other airline winners won tickets and points. The American Airlines prize was won by travel advisor Gloria Nadeau from Adria Travel Service who scored two free tickets anywhere in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean; while Aeroplan gave 30,000 Aeroplan points to lucky winner Ursula Mindt from Lakewood Travel.

A riveting afternoon panel discussion dubbed, “Rebuilding the Canadian Travel Industry-Together” was moderated by ACTA Board Member and president of Richard Vanderlubbe. Industry executives from the largest corporate brands shared stories and took questions from the audience.

While veteran Sandals and Beaches executive, Gary Sadler ended the show, discussing the growth of travel in a post-pandemic world as he delivered the closing keynote presentation on the future of travel…is bright!

Prior to a cocktail reception that was sponsored by Visit Myrtle Beach, the ACTA Leadership Awards were presented, recognizing the best in the Canadian retail industry.

This year’s ACTA Leadership Awards Winners:

  • Gerald Heifetz Advocacy Award: Shalene Dudley, CTA, Lead Travel Concierge, Latitude Concierge Travels Ltd. and last year’s winner of Baxter Media’s Travel Agent and Beyond Award
  • Leisure Travel Agent Award: Angela Harrison-Mowbray, Owner/Travel Advisor of Travel Escapes
  • Corporate Travel Agent Award: Monica Voigt, Manager Corporate Services, Marlin Travel
  • Tomorrow’s Leader Award: Shari Tucker, Travel Advisor, Love the way You Travel
  • ACTA’s Ches Chard Education Award was won by Patricia Marques, CTM from CAA North and East

The 2022 ACTA Summit continues west in Richmond B.C. on Sept. 20 and will conclude on Sept. 28 in Laval, Quebec. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of the 2022 ACTA Summit in future issues.