Over the weekend, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced there would be a special emergency session of parliament tomorrow to vote on a number of emergency measures to bring relief to businesses and Canadians.
NOW is the time for a grass roots campaign by the industry to reach out to the government and draw attention to the plight of the travel agency community.
We are asking all ACTA members and their teams to URGENTLY write to your Federal MP, to the COVID-19 Parliament Committee members, the Prime Minister and your Provincial MPP/MLA to raise awareness that travel agents have been hard hit by the moratorium on travel and asking for assistance for travel agencies and travel agents. Click here for step by step instructions.
The following is our suggested letter template which you can send to all of the above members of parliament, the Prime Minister and your Provincial MPP/MLA. Key contact information can be found on the ACTA COVID-19 Portal.
The letter points out that there are in excess of 24,000 Travel Agents and 14,000 large and small travel agency businesses in Canada. Over 90% of agencies are considered small businesses and 75% of Travel Agents are women. Travel Agencies generate over $30 Billion in sales and $3 Billion in revenue annually.
We stress that relief for the travel industry must include Travel Agencies.
The letter asks for relief and financial assistance for businesses including low interest loans and grants, delayed payments for rent and leases, tax relief, reducing provincial regulatory burdens and suspension of charge backs on travel purchases.
For travel agent employees and independent contractors, we are asking the government to introduce Emergency Employment Insurance (EI) that waives waiting periods and increases the amount of the benefit from 55% to 75%; Introduce Emergency support for the self-employed (independent contractors who make up 35% of our industry) who are not eligible for EI; and provide emergency financial supports that allow for immediate job share versus unemployment.
We have also launched our telephone campaign and are asking you to call your MP. A script is available on the ACTA website.
We know you are stressed and busy but please take time to send these letters urgently. We will need to continue to lobby for Travel Agencies over the coming days and months.
Visit acta.ca and look for “LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN” on the home page to access step by step instructions including website links to finding and contacting your Federal and Provincial Government representatives in your riding.