TORONTO — Canada’s federal budget for 2023 is in the planning stages and ACTA’s pre-budget consultation paper to the House of Commons Finance Committee was submitted for parliamentary review earlier this week.
“We were very pleased that all legacy border measures were removed as of Oct. 1, but ACTA remains vigilant, keeping an eye on all issues that potentially affect travel agencies and independent travel agents,” said Wendy Paradis, ACTA President. “Meetings with key ministries, policy makers, and politicians continue, and we are always looking to remove red-tape to build a more profitable and streamlined business environment.”
She added: “Thankfully, travel agencies and travel agents are busier than ever with new bookings. While they focus on rebuilding their travel businesses, they can rest assured that the ACTA team will continue to assertively advocate on their behalf.”
ACTA’s submission to the Finance Committee includes several priorities:
- Increased funding for travel and tourism labour support
- Improving the traveller experience through additional investments in airports, security, passport, and NEXUS services
- Allocated funding for hard-hit travel and tourism businesses, including travel agencies and independent travel agents, should border measures return
- Federal emergency loan deferrals and forgiveness for pandemic programs including CEBA and HASCAP
- The implementation of a federal policy to protect travel agent commission in all future airline support programs
- Increased investments in travel and tourism industry research services, including Statistics Canada and Tourism HR Canada
- Investments to build a regenerative and inclusive travel and tourism industry
Paradis says these priorities are reflected in ACTA’s recently released Tourism Growth Strategy submission, and in ACTA’s advocacy efforts at both the federal and provincial levels on the protection and growth of Canada’s travel agencies and independent travel agents.