The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) has announced that Air Canada Vacations (ACV) and Royal Irish Tours (RIT) have joined CATO as the association continues to work on rebuilding the travel industry.
CATO says it remains in the position to advocate and lobby for the elimination of travel restrictions.
“The more members, the greater the influence and the better the chances we’ll see a recovery sooner rather than later. Successful lobbying by CATO and others has achieved its first milestone – essential aid. Now we must double-down and work even harder on recovery efforts.” said Chair Brett Walker in a release.
To encourage members to continue their partnership throughout the pandemic, CATO has suspended membership fees for current members through the end of 2021.
During this difficult time, CATO is also appealing to all non-members to join as well. New members can join for a low fee of only $250.
At the last CATO meeting in September, Brett Walker, Chair of CATO; Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Tom Jenkins, Director of the European Tourism Commission (ETOA); and Terry Dale, President & CEO of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) all spoke of the dire need of a plan for recovery.
Businesses have an even greater interest in keeping the public safe than governments do, the association says.
This is why CATO, in conjunction with ETOA and USTOA, have established clear and transparent protocols (TOURCARE) to reassure travellers and government officials that Canada can re-open its borders safely and eliminate the need for the mandatory 14-day quarantine. The industry has acted and implemented public safety measures, but government inertia has hampered and even restricted any recovery.
“Government must lead Canadians forward, on a clear path toward the restoration of not just public health, but public health and the economy. This means working toward a perfect solution but accepting current realties. Government must put forth criteria to serve as baselines of acceptance and supporting recovery that exceeds these baselines. This is critical for any recovery," stated Walker.
CATO continues to work with other industry stakeholders in an effort to advance the organization’s goal of enabling Canadians to travel safely, without restrictions, and rebuilding the travel industry.
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