The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) has launched an urgent survey looking for feedback on the financial sustainability of the travel agent sector and what it will look like without expanded and enhanced aid past June.
The survey will provide insight for the federal government into the success of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) loan to see if it is working for those it was intended for—the Hardest Hit businesses, says ACTA.
ACTA is also looking to identify the roadblocks or gaps with accessing funding by travel agencies and independent travel agent businesses to both federal and provincial financial relief programs.
“This is essential as the data is invaluable during our critical advocacy activities underway leading up to the release of the federal budget on April 19,” said Wendy Paradis, President of ACTA.
She added: “But we need to have the data urgently… it will only take five minutes to complete and we are asking all agency owners and independent travel agents to complete the survey before the end of this week.”
All agency owners, independent agents and travel agents can access the survey by clicking here.
ACTA meets with Minister Alghabra
ACTA met with Transport Minister Omar Alghabra last week and a number of priorities specific to the industry were reinforced prior to the upcoming budget including:
- the extension and expansion of the CEWS and CERS programs
- the extension of the CRB and EI programs
- easier accessibility to liquidity within the HASCAP loan program
- protection of travel agency/travel agent commission from recall with mandatory consumer refunds
“Minister Alghabra acknowledged that travel has been hit hardest for a variety of reasons including government measures and restrictions,” said Paradis. “He agrees that where initially a broad brush was used for financial aid supports for all, it is clear now there is a continued need for sectoral support and that this is being worked on now.”
A plan for a restart is in the works
ACTA and Minister Alghabra also discussed the need for a Travel and Tourism Roadmap to Recovery and ACTA had the opportunity to share their recommendations, as well as programs and progress from other parts of the world.
The Minister recognized that a plan for recovery needs to be rolled out that is based on health indicators and benchmarks for what the restart will look like, ACTA says.
However, the government will not roll out a plan for the recovery of travel until it is safe to do so, he said.
At the same time, the government is looking at what support measures will be needed in the short-medium term that are tailored to support the travel and tourism sectors.