Even as the calendar flips into 2022, the Association of Canadians Travel Agencies (ACTA) is continuing its fight to secure the future of the travel agent industry.
This week, ACTA sent the Canadian federal government a new proposal for financial support for independent travel agents called the Independent Travel Agent Relief Program (ITARP). The program, which ACTA says will “create equity between independent travel agents and other travel and tourism small businesses,” was developed because independent workers were not included in the ACTA-supported Bill C-2 that passed Canadian Parliament in December.
The ITARP would give some financial support for those independent travel agents, one group that remains a priority for ACTA in the New Year.
“ACTA’s top priority remains ensuring as much financial support as possible will be available for travel agencies, travel agents and independent travel agents,” said Wendy Paradis, ACTA president.
All major ACTA host agencies endorsed the ITARP, which is now in the hands of senior government officials. ACTA is scheduled to meet with the Ministry of Tourism next week to discuss the proposal.
At the same time, ACTA is advising all members to review eligibility requirements for the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB), which has benefits that are eligible in most of Canada for Period 9 (Dec. 19 – 25) and Period 10 (Dec. 26 – Jan. 1). ACTA is still searching for answers as to whether or not independent agents are eligible for CWLB.
“Despite outreach by ACTA, the federal government has so far not confirmed whether independent travel agents, as a specific industry, are eligible,” said Paradis. “Therefore, at this time, ACTA is unable to provide further guidance or interpretation, however we are pressing for clarity on this.”