If there was one person who could truly be called an icon of the travel industry, it was Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.
TORONTO — A new commission protection petition initiated by ACITA co-founders Judith Coates, Brenda Slater and Nancy Wilson can be read and signed online here.
With the petition ACITA is aiming to draw more attention to the overwhelming challenges faced by travel agents, particularly in the face of potential mass commission recalls that could exceed $200 million. The federal government has said its financial assistance package to Canada’s airlines amid the pandemic is contingent on refunds, which would almost certainly trigger commission recalls.
ACITA petition, posted Dec. 30, 2020 and available to sign until the morning of Jan. 29, 2021, reads: “We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Minister of Transport to ensure that bailout subsidies and loans to Airlines will be conditional upon the protection of travel advisor commissions paid for services rendered to airlines and their subsidiary tour companies.”
ACITA is urging all travel professionals to not only sign the petition, but to share it to their business and personal social media pages.
“The wording is very consumer-friendly and is quick to point out that as travel professionals we support the option of consumer refunds,” says ACITA’s Coates.
The timing of the petition is strategic, she says, in that it is open for signatures until Jan. 29, at which time the House of Commons will resume its Winter sitting.
Read and sign ACITA’s petition here. The signing process is quick and easy.
ACITA’S ZOOM CALLS WITH MPs
Coates, Slater and Wilson have hosted already many, many Zoom calls with MPs to drive home the importance of commission protection.
Coates adds that ACITA has been pleased with the number of travel advisors and agency owners who have scheduled meetings with their MPs (115+ to date) so that they can explain how devastating recalled commissions will be to Canada’s travel agents.
“We go through a 10-minute Presentation Deck and then invite the MP to ask questions or give suggestions,” says Coates.
“Time after time we see their jaw drop when we come to the part in the presentation where we tell them how many notices of commission recalls travel advisors have already received, or had taken out of their BSP Account, and how many thousands of dollars the travel advisors in their riding will have to pay back to travel suppliers if the government does not stipulate some form of protection along with consumer refunds.”