TORONTO — National consumer news media coverage about the plight of travel agents during the pandemic can only help the industry, and the latest article highlights the challenges with feedback from industry leaders including ACTA’s Wendy Paradis and ACITA’s Judith Coates.
The story, at CBC.ca, is headlined ‘”More work for no pay”: Travel agents say they’re in trouble after a slew of trip cancellations’. The “more work for no pay” quote comes from ACITA co-founder Coates, who points out that when trips get cancelled, agents lose out on their commission.
The article also notes that independent travel agents are so far left out of the federal government’s latest round of COVID financial supports.
CRB was a lifeline for independent agents in the first 18 months of the pandemic but it wound down in October 2021.
And while Bill C-2, which passed in December 2021, includes the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, independent agents don’t qualify for either program.
Last week ACTA President Wendy Paradis announced a proposed new program, the Independent Travel Agent Relief Program. ACTA will present ITARP to the federal government as a possible solution for financial aid for ITAs.
Paradis told the CBC: “There are a lot of independent workers who are really, really struggling. Independent workers have fallen through the cracks of the financial support system.”
CBC also spoke to travel agency co-owner Kerwin Dougan, with Gatineau, QC-based Voyages G Travel. “Right now we’re just trying to survive,” said Dougan.