“Don’t be a freeloader”: Vanderlubbe’s message to agency owners

“Don’t be a freeloader,” Vanderlubbe tells agency owners

TORONTO — Richard Vanderlubbe, President of tripcentral.ca, is issuing a call-out to ACTA member travel agency owners, in no uncertain terms.

“PAY YOUR ACTA RENEWAL BILL!” says Vanderlubbe, who is also a Director on the ACTA Board.

The invoices are about to go out, Vanderlubbe tells Travelweek. While some owners may say the amount should be cut, especially if they have no staff, it’s more important than ever to support ACTA as it fights for the survival of the retail travel industry in Canada, says Vanderlubbe.

He also urges non-members to join.

Here’s his message:

“PAY YOUR ACTA RENEWAL BILL!

“We’re all hammered financially, but we CANNOT starve our association of funds. Pay what you paid last year no matter what. Pay more if you can.

“The ACTA staff have worked double time fighting for us and we are being listened to more now than the entirety of the combined decades I’ve been involved in industry affairs.

“This costs money, and so do the Government Relations firms and lawyers consulted on HR matters and issues. A bunch of us are dedicating our time on top of it.

“We need to keep this organization fully fired up to keep the attention of the federal and provincial governments. We’re also more engaged and plugged in than ever at senior levels with key suppliers working together to try and get restrictions reduced in a safe way.

“Don’t be a freeloader. If you’re not a member, join. Your ACTA fees will not make or break things in any material way compared to what is going on. Find the money. Borrow it if you have to.”

Active with lobbying efforts since the start of the pandemic, ACTA’s latest campaign, announced earlier this week, underscores the urgent need for extended aid and commission protection for Canada’s travel agents amid bailout talks between the airlines and the federal government. ACTA presented Ottawa with a 6-point plan to support travel agencies, and that plan includes:

  • Increase to CEWS to the 85% level
  • Amendments to CERS to 90%
  • An extension to CRB to June 30, 2021
  • Inclusion in any airline aid package
  • A proposed travel industry subsidy to assist with fixed expenses, and amendments to BCAP so travel agencies would be eligible.
  • A plan for the government to work with the industry to develop clear criteria for re-opening borders and future travel advisories when it is safe to do so, including a travel incentive program