Without aid, there will be imminent closures and bankruptcies: ACTA

TORONTO — ACTA issued a statement on Friday in the wake of the new travel restrictions announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“The news of earlier today with respect to the suspension of flying to the Caribbean and Mexico as well as significant related restrictions is absolutely devastating for all sectors within the travel industry – from airlines to hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, travel agents, independent contractors and all other businesses that rely on tourism,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA.

Paradis said ACTA is sounding the alarm for travel agents and travel agencies following the federal government’s announcement that Canada’s major airlines have agreed to suspend all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico until April 30.

“Without enhanced and urgent aid, and protection against commission recall there will be imminent business closures and bankruptcies among travel agencies and independent contractors – as we have been warning the federal government,” said Paradis.

“However, as we have been stating for months to the federal government, travel agencies and travel agents cannot survive the brunt of about $200 million in recall commission on cancelled and refunded bookings related to the COVID-19 crisis,” she added.

Paradis said: “ACTA reinforced the impact of these latest travel restrictions to the federal government again today and reinforced our message that any aid given to an airline or tour operator MUST include funding to cover travel agent recall commissions, and for a FUND to cover past bookings already recalled.”

Paradis said that while, of course, ACTA understands the importance of protecting the health of Canadians, the impact of the new measures of suspended flights, new testing on arrival on top of the pre-boarding testing, mandatory hotel quarantines and other initiatives will further delay any meaningful recovery for the entire industry.

“We require immediate and focused discussions with the government to ensure not only the safety of Canadians and travellers –but of our travel businesses,” she said. “Travel agencies and travel agents need aid now. Our industry has been effectively shut down.”