Travel agents across the country are being urged to sign the Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA) petition that urges the Minister of Transport to ensure that any financial assistance for airlines – and their tour subsidiaries – is conditional on travel agent commissions being protected.
The Petition e_3029 – which is open for signatures by going to https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3029 — was drafted by ACITA and sponsored by MP Marc Dalton (Pitt Meadows-Mapleridge, BC) when the threat of commission recalls was first made public by tour operators announcing that they would provide refunds for trips cancelled due to COVID-19.
It outlines the Commission Recall issue in easy-to-read terminology and gives a clear call to action for the Minister of Transport to ensure that bailouts to Airlines and their Tour Subsidiaries are conditional on the protection of Travel Advisor commissions.
The timing of the Petition is strategic, in that it is open for signatures until January 29, 2021 at which time the House of Commons will resume its Winter sitting.
ACITA has been pleased with the number of Travel Advisors and Agency Owners who have scheduled meetings with their MP (over 115 to date) so that they can explain, on behalf of the Travel Advisor or Agency Owner, how devastating recalled commissions will be to the 24,000 Travel Advisors across Canada, forcing many into personal bankruptcy.
Judith Coates, one of the founders of ACITA, said: “We go through a 10-minute Presentation Deck and then invite the MP to ask questions or give suggestions.”
Coates continued: “Time after time we see their jaw drop when we come to the part in the presentation where we tell them how many notices of commission recalls Travel Advisors have already received, or had taken out of their BSP Account, and how many thousands of dollars the Travel Advisors in their riding will have to pay back to Travel Suppliers if the Government does not stipulate some form of protection along with Consumer refunds.”
As the Petition states, according to ACTA, the total amount of commissions that will be recalled will amount to $200 Million, an amount that will decimate the Travel Advisor community.
ACITA urges all Travel Professionals to not only sign this Petition, but to share it to their Business and Personal Social Media pages. The wording is very consumer friendly and is quick to point out that as Travel Professionals we support the option of Consumer refunds.
ACITA was founded in June, 2020 by Judith Coates, Brenda Slater and Nancy Wilson when it became apparent that Independent Travel Advisors were under represented and needed a collaborative voice in reaching out to Government Officials. Their grass roots initiative has made headway into the back hallways of Parliament and they are told by the MP’s they meet that they are often the subject of conversation at the water cooler.
Go to https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3029 and sign the petition now.