A petition is circulating on behalf of Canadian independent travel advisors, asking the federal government to provide sector-specific funding until May of 2022 and ensure that agents are included in the class of eligible applicants for the recently-announced Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program.
The petition, initiated by co-founder of the Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA) Judith Coates of the Travel Agent Next Door, and supported by MP Marc Dalton of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC, was launched on Oct. 29 and can be viewed here.
Addressed to the Government of Canada, the petition notes how more than 12,000 independent travel advisors in Canada have been without income for 19 months due to government-imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions.
It then goes on to state how federal assistance programs, like CEBA, CERS, CEWS and RRRF, have excluded the majority of these hard-hit small business owners, “leaving them to slip through the cracks, and forcing them into massive debt and bankruptcy.”
“Independent travel advisors will not see revenue in their businesses until five-11 months after the lifting of travel advisories and cruising advisories,” the petition states.
The petition specifically calls on Ottawa to
- Provide sector-specific funding for independent travel advisors in the form of bridge financing until May 2022, at the very minimum, until they are able to see recovery in their businesses.
- Ensure that independent travel advisors are included in the class of eligible applicants for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program announced by the government on October 21, 2021.
As of Monday morning, November 15, the petition showed 1,711 signatures.
ACITA is encouraging everyone in the travel industry, and their supporters, to sign the petition so their requests can effectively be communicated in the House of Commons.
The petition closes on November 28, 2021.