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TL Network, ACTA announce deal for Consortia Partnership

TORONTO — Another retail group – and there will no doubt be more – has signed on with ACTA’s Consortia Partnership program.

It’s the same program that caused all the controversy back in April 2019 when Virtuoso sent out a statement announcing it had signed an exclusive partnership with the organization.

TL Network says it is continuing to expand benefits for member agencies by entering into the enhanced partnership with ACTA.

The partnership will support collaboration on initiatives to enhance the certification, education and professional development of TLN members, along with other benefits including preferred rates on newly activated Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) or Certified Travel Manager (CTM) registrations, and it further demonstrates TL Network Canada’s commitment to advancing a strong Canadian travel agent community, says Christine James, TL Network’s Vice President, Canada.

“On behalf of TL Network Canada and our entire membership, I’m thrilled to enter into this enhanced partnership with ACTA,” says James. “I look forward to working closely with the ACTA leadership team to positively and proactively support the overall objectives of Canada’s retail travel industry in addition to addressing the needs of our membership. This will help grow our membership’s collective voice and the ability to contribute input to the lobbying efforts of ACTA.”

TL Network is the largest seller of luxury travel, cruises, river cruises and tours in North America, she added.

“TL Network Canada has been a longstanding member of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) and an industry leader in Canada,” said ACTA President Wendy Paradis, adding that ACTA is excited that TL Network Canada has made the commitment to become part of ACTA’s Consortia Partnership program. The program includes an enhanced level of support and investment into the trade association and Canada’s retail travel industry.

“We thank Travel Leaders for their commitment and look forward to working even closer with the TL Network Canada team to advance the advocacy, professional development and promotion of Canada’s travel agencies and travel agents to government, travel suppliers and travel consumers,” said Paradis.

Paradis added: “The ACTA Consortia Partnership program is open to any travel agency consortium that wants to make an enhanced contribution to ACTA’s advocacy and professional development activities.”

Paradis notes that more than 12,000 Canadian advisors work in ACTA member agencies, representing more than 80% of the travel business booked through agencies in the country.

After Virtuoso made its announcement back in April, ACTA sent out a statement. “ACTA would like to clarify that we do not promote one travel agency organization over another and we do not have an exclusivity agreement with any one Travel Agency, Chain, Consortia or Host Agency that impedes other travel agency organizations from working with us in a similar capacity. It appears that some content in the Virtuoso press release may have been misinterpreted.” noted at the time that if other consortia felt compelled to sign on for ACTA partnerships as a result of the Virtuoso deal, that potentially creates an upper tier of retail groups within an organization that has long been defined by its broad membership base, and its advocacy for all of its agency members.

However while some agents raised an eyebrow at the Virtuoso partnership, many acknowledged that ACTA needs to bring in money. If anyone knows how important it is to survive in tough times and find new revenue streams, it’s travel agents.

No doubt TL Network won’t be the last to sign on with the program. As Travelweek predicted in April, all the heated debate surrounding the Consortium Partnership could drive up demand for more of the $5,000 partnerships, because no big retail group wants to be outdone by a competitor.