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Canada needs a Roadmap for Recovery to stay competitive, says ACTA

TORONTO — ACTA is sounding the alarm over the very real possibility of Canada being “left behind” in global recovery efforts, should the government not develop a clear “Roadmap for Recovery.” 

ACTA president Wendy Paradis confirms that the organization is already hearing from other countries that are reconsidering investing in Canada as a destination and as an outbound market, given Canada’s lack of planning and conditions required for the restart of travel. “We need the plan in order to keep Canada globally competitive, inbound and outbound,” she says.

Described in ACTA’s 2021 Tourism and Travel Recovery Plan, the roadmap is being strongly advocated not only by ACTA but also by national and global Travel and Tourism Roundtables. According to ACTA, while the travel industry is putting health and safety measures in place, the government needs to work with the industry on rapid testing, contact tracing, vaccine documentation and protocols in order to ease travel advisories and reduce quarantine measures over time. 

ACTA has heard from travel agencies and independent travel agents across Canada that without a roadmap to recovery from the government, it is will be difficult to make any plans for the future or to commit to applying for any government loan programs and amassing more debt. 

Earlier this week and ahead of the G7 meeting in the U.K. next month, leaders from the U.S. and the U.K. in aviation, travel and tourism presented the ‘Reopening US UK Air Travel to President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson. 

Canadian business leaders, including ACTA and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, are urging the Canadian government to take similar action and finalize a roadmap to reopen Canada.

 

 

Canadian business leaders, including ACTA and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, are urging the Canadian government to take similar action and finalize a roadmap to reopen Canada.

“Even with the rollout of vaccines well underway, ACTA understands that large events and widespread travel may not be possible today as we are still in the third wave,” says Paradis. “However, projections show that Canada will be in very good shape with vaccines by mid to late summer of 2021. We need a roadmap that outlines clear metrics for reopening. We need to get ready.”

ACTA’s message to the government is clear: the travel industry cannot afford to wait until after the pandemic is over for a travel restart plan, given the lead-time required for any plan to be implemented. 

The following criteria, says ACTA, are required for the restart of travel:

  • A continued robust and effective vaccine rollout plan
  • A national testing and contact tracing strategy
  • Digital verification tools for international travel
  • Reduction of mandatory hotel stopover
  • Reducing or eliminating the 14-day quarantine 
  • Easing of travel advisories

Paradis says that she’s encouraged to hear in meetings with Members of Parliament and senior government officials that planning is well underway, and expects talks about vaccine documentation and testing tools to ramp up ahead of next month’s G7 Summit. However, she also notes that the government may be reluctant to roll out Canada’s Roadmap for fear of sending mixed messages to Canadians while in the midst of a third wave. 

ACTA will be meeting with Health Canada today, May 7, to issue an urgent request for a Roadmap to Recovery and to discuss its recommendations.