Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — ACTA says it’s looking for financial support from Ontario travel agencies to support its new lobby funding campaign, as it calls for swift and effective action to address what it says is the financial burden of the Ontario travel industry’s Compensation Fund.
ACTA released an open letter yesterday afternoon underlining its concerns about the inadequacies of the Ontario Travel Compensation Fund protecting against global end-supplier failure “and the immediate need for a consumer-based funding model.”
Ontario had a change of government in summer 2018 when Premier Doug Ford took office.
Here’s the letter in full:
“We have waited too long already for necessary modernization of Ontario’s Travel Industry Act. We’re back at the table and it’s time to get these changes made in 2019. Not only are we committing time and resources to make it happen, a registered lobbyist has been hired to ensure our message to key politicians is front and centre.
“You’ll recall that discussions with the Ontario government, underway since 2016, were interrupted by last June’s election and change of government.
“Now that a new government is in place, we are ready to make a new case that the Travel Industry Act needs to be modernized to reduce financial and regulatory burdens that hamper both travel sellers and travel consumers.
“We will be very vocal in our concerns about the inadequacies of the Ontario Travel Compensation Fund protecting against global end-supplier failure and the immediate need for a consumer-based funding model.
“We have also found allies in CATO (The Canadian Association of Tour Operators) and OMCA (The Ontario Motorcoach Association) who share our belief that the government has an excellent opportunity to greatly improve consumer travel protection at minimal cost, while at the same time helping Ontario-based travel businesses become more competitive in the global marketplace. We will deliver that key message in a unified voice on behalf of our memberships.
“The outcomes we are trying to achieve through this major lobby initiative will help both consumer and our membership and will save member agencies thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, annually.
“In order to achieve success, ACTA will be launching a Lobby Funding campaign. While all of your membership dollars continue to fund advocacy issues such as agency-airline matters through IATA, federal matters such as the Air Passenger Bill of Rights, and a number of other regulatory regimes for insurance or licensing, this particular initiative will require additional financial support from Ontario travel agencies.
“We will be reaching out to you in the coming weeks with more information on ways you can help and keep you updated on our efforts.”