Take ACTA’s survey on key supplier issues

ACTA survey results, campaign highlight agent worries about repaying CEBA and other govt. loans

TORONTO — ACTA has launched a new letter and advocacy campaign in the wake of survey results that show a majority of travel agencies and independent travel advisors are not confident they can repay principle and interest on CEBA, RRRF and HASCAP loans by Dec. 31.

According to the ACTA survey, conducted last month, 67% say they are not confident about the ability to repay the loans, and 16% are unsure. Another 36% said they think it is likely or somewhat likely that they will close within three years.

When asked what measures would be most helpful in being able to repay government loans and debt, 72% would like to see more loan and debt forgiveness and 16% said a longer period to pay.

The ACTA survey aimed at gathering insight on levels of travel agency and independent travel advisor debt and capacity to repay federal government loans due by the end of this year. These loans include CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account); RRRF (Regional Relief Recovery Fund); and HASCAP (Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program).


ACTA’s survey also indicates that 27% of travel businesses owe at least $100,000, 56% owe at least $50,000 and 80% owe at least $10,000.

“The survey was open to travel agencies and independent travel advisors between July 11-28 this year so that Q2 business results were known and we could have up to date information to show to governments,” said Wendy Paradis, ACTA president.

She added: “We have been hearing from ACTA members for several months now that although business is recovering, they are very concerned about the debt load they are carrying as a result of the pandemic.”

Paradis said the survey results will serve as the key element in ACTA’s advocacy strategy calling on the federal government to provide forgiveness and more time to repay outstanding loans.

The survey also revealed that 50% of agencies are still recovering from the pandemic with a slow return to profitability, and 15% said that loan repayment terms are difficult to meet and that today’s high interest rates add to the difficulty.


Along with the results of the survey, ACTA is also announcing its launch of an industry-wide letter writing campaign calling on Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland to provide more time for federal loans to be repaid.

The letter writing campaign runs Aug. 29 through Sept. 29.

ACTA is asking industry members to send a letter to their Member of Parliament and Minister Freeland. “A sample letter is provided by ACTA and your MP’s information will auto fill when you insert your address. The process is simple and takes less than two minutes,” said Paradis.

The link to write a letter online is here.

Paradis said the advocacy strategy will include several tactics throughout the fall, including formal submissions to government, mainstream news media, social media, and meetings with MPs across Canada.

ACTA’s recommendations are:

  • Extend the CEBA interest-free repayment deadline by two years to the end of 2025, while maintaining access to the forgivable portion.
  • Modify the terms of the RRRF and HASCAP loan programs to allow more time for repayment.
  • Work with industry to explore forgiveness measures that would help the loans be repaid sooner.

ACTA is working together with several stakeholders, including the Travel Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, “to ensure a clear, strong, and collective voice and call for action is heard and acted upon by Minister Freeland.”

Travelweek spoke to several travel agents about the Dec. 31 loan repayment deadline; click here for that story.

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