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 has issued a new statement in the wake of its new consortium partnership with Virtuoso.
Virtuoso sent out a release on April 3 announcing that it had signed on as ACTA’s first exclusive consortium partner. As part of the agreement, Virtuoso’s 185 Canadian travel agency locations will receive an annual 30% rebate on their ACTA membership, up to $750. ACTA will also provide Virtuoso members with a 30% discount on the price of Certified Travel Counselor and Certified Travel Manager registration fees.
Later that day, it followed up with a second statement:
“ACTA and Virtuoso would like to clarify their recently announced partnership agreement, including the definition of a Consortium Partner as opposed to a Consortium Member which has caused confusion due to misinterpretation of parts of the press release.
“While Virtuoso, along with many other groups in Canada, is a Consortium Member, there was never exclusivity meant by either party in the definition of this term. All consortia, agencies, and agents are eligible and supported to be members of ACTA no matter their affiliation.
“In its Partner Program, ACTA also has existing partners, and, as per the original press release, Virtuoso is the inaugural and only partner currently in the newly created Consortia Partner category.
“As a Consortia Partner, similarly to ACTA’s existing Corporate Partners, Virtuoso invests its time and resources in order to support ACTA’s vision of a healthy and vibrant retail travel industry where the travel advisor is recognized as an expert resource.
“This allows the two organizations to work more closely to create innovative programming that supports a strong retail travel industry.
“At the same time this partnership supports professionalism through Certification and Education. Savings passed along to Virtuoso members to enroll in ACTA’s Membership and Membership Programs is a strategic move funded by the Virtuoso group for their members, based off the existing successful partnership model between Virtuoso and ASTA in the USA.
“In no way is this partnership setup to impede another travel agency organization or industry partners from working with ACTA creatively and innovatively to support its members and its mandate whether through its Member Program or its Partner Program, like Virtuoso has done.
“As stated in the original press release, Tim Morgan, Virtuoso’s Director of Business Strategy, Canada said that, “ACTA has partnerships with many types of travel organizations in Canada, of which Virtuoso is now proudly the first Consortia to join in this capacity. As we all work toward the common goals of advocating, educating, promoting, and connecting the travel industry in Canada.”
“In addition, ACTA’s Wendy Paradis said that, “We are looking forward to working closely with Virtuoso since we are aligned on a common goal: advancement of the retail travel sector and Canadian travel industry at large. Virtuoso’s powerful voice will be a welcome addition to our work in enhancing the professionalism of travel advisors and advocating for them as well as Canadian travellers”.”