TORONTO — The Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA) continues to meet with representatives at all levels of government to keep the needs of independent travel advisors front and centre with government officials, including Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra.
ACITA reported following their Feb. 8 meeting with Minister Alghabra: “Minister Alghabra was very well aware of the tremendous impact the recent weather related ‘ordeal’ (as he referred to it) had on our businesses, and while he doesn’t have immediate solutions to our unique challenges, he committed to being available to us to listen to our innovative ideas and creative solutions, and help however he can. He also recognized that there are more issues than just one weather event hindering our sector from recovery, and that all stakeholders play vital roles.”
ACITA and Minister Alghabra also discussed the need for changes to Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR).
“The Minister of Transport has maintained important communication with, and an understanding of the unique challenges within the sector. He recognized the vital role travel advisors play in the tourism industry, and specifically how it relates to the Transportation portfolio,” said ACITA.
ACITA’s meeting with Minister Alghabra came on the heels of another earlier meeting with MP Xavier Barsalou-Duval, Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. ACITA said it is determined to change an industry that has always been based on the ‘status quo’: “Our industry has changed, our business models have changed, our suppliers also need to change. We are responsible for 60 – 70% of the business of a majority of our suppliers and feel there must be a way to have mutual respect, as valued partners. The MP was extremely helpful, providing some avenues to pursue next.”
ACITA added: “While it may seem we’ve been quiet at ACITA, we continue to stay connected to our supporters in government, working towards a plan to protect all travel advisors and travel agencies from commission recalls for work we’ve completed.”