TORONTO — ACTA says it has confirmed that travel agencies will qualify for new subsidies for hardest-hit businesses, as pledged by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party last week.
However a different strategy is needed for independent agents, says ACTA President Wendy Paradis.
On Aug. 16, the first full day on the election campaign trail, Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau promised extra help to sectors including tourism that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
Hardest-hit businesses in the tourism sector with a minimum 40% revenue loss would receive a new rent and wage subsidy at a maximum 75% rate from September 2021 – May 31, 2022 as part of the Liberal platform, as ACTA notes.
It’s an election promise, not policy, at least not yet. If the Liberals are re-elected on Sept. 20, the new subsidies could be a reality.
Full details of the announcement are here.
Says Paradis: “ACTA is pleased with this announcement, as these subsidies will go a long way in supporting our sector’s survival and start of recovery.”
But the Liberal’s pledge does not address the needs of independent travel agents — and that’s why ACTA is developing a separate strategic response for ITAs.
“This is a critical time for travel agent businesses to make financial support and survival an election issue. ACTA’s advocacy efforts will continue in full force through the election period, but member grassroots advocacy is key to our success,” says Paradis.
In working with the Hardest Hit Coalition, ACTA says it’s motivating members to show support for the announced rent and wage subsidies for hardest-hit travel and tourism businesses.
ACTA is also encouraging all political parties to adopt platforms that support travel agent business survival.
“We want decision makers to feel like they are making the right decision supporting the travel and tourism industry, to ensure policies becomes law in September by whatever party is elected and that it has as high a budget as possible,” said Paradis.
As reported last week, ACTA is encouraging its encouraging agents to make support for the travel industry an election issue.
ACTA says members can acknowledge positive actions for the industry via Twitter and to specifically reference local candidates.
Paradis notes that candidates, party leaders, and the media are looking to Twitter during the election, and it is the best platform to share the industry’s message.
She adds that industry members should feel free to compose their own Tweet or use the following templates that show their appreciation for the support and direct the message to the right decision makers.
Here are some sample messages, courtesy of ACTA (and agents should be sure to include the handle for a candidate in their riding in the space where it says @YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATE) …
- My travel agent business is a hardest-hit tourism business. I appreciate @JustinTrudeau announcement for sector-specific aid and call on all parties to adopt similar policies. This lifeline will help us survive for recovery! @melaniejoly @cafreeland @YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATE #Election2021
- @JustinTrudeau announced aid to hardest-hit tourism businesses. This will help my travel agent business survive to see recovery and save jobs. All parties should do something similar! @melaniejoly @cafreeland @YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATE #Election2021
- My travel agent business will only survive with sector-specific support. @JustinTrudeau announced subsidies that will help me survive to see recovery. @erinotoole @theJagmeetSingh should follow suit to protect businesses and jobs! @melaniejoly @cafreeland @YOUR LOCAL CANDIDATE #Election2021
ACTA is also reminding everyone in the industry to reach out to local candidates and request meetings to talk about their business issues, attend a BBQ or other small gatherings, and ask candidates for support for the industry’s survival and recovery.
ACTA’s work with other travel and tourism associations across Canada includes a combined goal among the associations and their members to have 1,000 meetings per week between now and September 20, federal election day.