ACTA Calls On Agents To Lobby Gov't For Assistance

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Wendy Paradis

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week an $82 billion COVID-19 emergency response package, ACTA is calling on all travel advisors and agencies to reach out to legislators to demand relief amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

A special emergency session of parliament is scheduled for today to vote on a number of emergency measures to bring relief to businesses and Canadians.

“Now is the time for a grass roots campaign by the industry to reach out to the government and draw attention to the plight of the travel agency community,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA. 

“We are asking all ACTA members and their teams to urgently write to your Federal MP, to the COVID-19 Parliament Committee members, the Prime Minister and your Provincial MPP/MLA to raise additional awareness that travel agents have been hard hit by the moratorium on travel and asking for assistance for travel agencies and travel agents.”  

ACTA says travel agents can find a suggested letter template on its website 

The ACTA letter points out that there are in excess of 24,000 travel agents and 14,000 large and small travel agency businesses in Canada. Over 90% of agencies are considered small businesses and 75% of travel agents are women. Travel agencies generate over $30 billion in sales and $3 billion in revenue annually.  

“We are stressing to the government that relief for the travel industry must include travel agencies and travel agents,” said Paradis.

What ACTA Is Asking For

ACTA is asking the government for relief and financial assistance for businesses including low interest loans and grants, delayed payments for rent and leases, tax relief, reducing provincial regulatory burdens and suspension of charge-backs on travel purchases.

 

For travel agent employees and independent contractors, ACTA is asking the government to:

  • introduce Emergency Employment Insurance (EI) that waives waiting periods and increases the amount of the benefit from 55% to 75%;
  • introduce emergency support for the self-employed (independent contractors who make up 35% of the industry) who are not eligible for EI;
  • and provide emergency financial supports that allow for immediate job share-- versus unemployment.

 

Telephone Campaign

 

ACTA will also be launching a telephone campaign and asking agents and agency owners to call their MP. A script will be available shortly on the ACTA website. 

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.


Comments

Shadi mohammadi - March 25, 2020 @ 09:56
Dear Wendy,
Thanks for your effort in this matter. For a self employed travel agent who works only on commission, it's not possible to not have any income suddenly and live with all the expenses. Also with all the refunds and taking back all the commissions collected for issuing the tickets, by airline it's not fair to a travel agent who spent so much time and went through so much stress to sell and refund those tickets. So I believe the income of every travel agent who is on commission for next month will be negative and this is so stressful. Thanks for your help Wendy again to reach our voice to the government in this really stressful situation.

NAWEL HOUFEL - March 24, 2020 @ 21:47
merci de faire quelque chose pour nous !

Kim Rozborowskyj - March 24, 2020 @ 18:39
Brick and Mortar closed until further notice. Been on phone and email 24/7 helping bring people home and rebooking/cancelling 100's of trips. No money for any pay. Working for free as the owner with rent still due April 1rst.

Edith Christison CTC - March 24, 2020 @ 17:01
For travel agent employees and independent contractors, ACTA is asking the government to:
•introduce Emergency Employment Insurance (EI) that waives waiting periods and increases the amount of the benefit from 55% to 75%;
•introduce emergency support for the self-employed (independent contractors who make up 35% of the industry) who are not eligible for EI;
•and provide emergency financial supports that allow for immediate job share-- versus unemployment.

Lynda Westlake - March 24, 2020 @ 16:26
Dear Lynda Westlake,

Thank you for writing to MPP David Piccini on behalf of travel agents in Canada with background information and request for support. Our office has shared those requests with relevant Ministries in our government.

Our government has been in constant contact with our federal counterparts and we have been working hard to coordinate a response that will provide immediate support to the health system and direct supports to businesses and workers.

On March 25 Minister Phillips will release an Economic and Fiscal Update, a one-year plan that reflects the current environment and the action our government is taking. Our government will provide a multi-year fiscal update this fall, with regular updates between now and then. Our approach will include increased resources for our healthcare system, direct support for people, and action to protect jobs and our economy.
If more relevant information becomes available following March 25, I will make sure to follow up to share.
We appreciate you reaching out to our office to express the impacts to date on the industry, and information about requested targeted relief for businesses and workers
My MPP responded today

Beverly Ruff - March 24, 2020 @ 16:16
I will be laid off after tomorrow due to covid 19

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