"We Cannot Let Up": ACTA Implores Agents To Participate In Third Advocacy Campaign
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
As the travel industry remains in "urgent" need of sector-specific support, ACTA is launching its third Advocacy Campaign, asking for help in writing to MPs and other federal ministers to extend the forms of support to travel agencies and advisors.
"While other industries have entered a recovery phase, the travel industry has not, due to closed borders, a travel advisory against all non-essential travel – and some fear among consumers about travelling due to COVID 19," says the association.
ACTA says its members have held over 60 independent meetings with MPs and MPPs.
"Each ACTA campaign has a different strategic objective and should not be confused as one long advocacy campaign," ACTA says. "It is important to not only write to MPs but to follow-up and ask for a meeting. The telephone script that ACTA provides assists with this."
As part of the third Advocacy Campaign, ACTA is asking the Canadian government to extend the following business supports for travel agencies and advisors until 31MAR, 2021:
CEWS- Continuation of the critical wage subsidy program at the 75% level.
CECRA– Continuation of the rent subsidy program. "With 70% of travel agency property owners not willing to participate in the program, ACTA is strongly urging the federal government to amend the rent program and make it available to the tenant directly."
CERB Transition to Adapted EI Program and New Canada Recovery Benefit– With travel agency revenues at less than 5% and the number of travel agents on CERB at 80-90%, it is critical that these lifelines be continued, says ACTA.
Sector Specific Loan or Grant Resources– "The travel industry is in urgent need of travel and tourism sector-specific loans/forgivable loans/grants that are interest free until 90 days after border restrictions are eased due to the industry’s booking/revenue collection patterns and that have a long-term amortization period for repayment (30 years)," the association says.
Tax Relief: Waive GST/HST payments.
“ACTA really appreciates the help we have received from the industry over the past six months supporting our letter writing campaigns. However, we cannot let up. We need to keep the pressure on the government because our industry urgently needs continued assistance,” said Wendy Paradis, ACTA President.
ACTA is also asking the government to work with the association and the travel industry to develop clear criteria for safely re-opening borders and for future travel advisories.
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.