‘New border measures equals new financial support’: ACTA kicks off TO Summit with advocacy priorities

The Association of Travel Agencies of Canada (ACTA) launched its Travel Industry Summit 2022 series in Toronto on Wednesday, September 14 by announcing its number one advocacy priority: keeping the Canadian border open.

Welcoming nearly 200 travel professionals to a stage at the Greater Toronto Convention CenterPresident of ACTA Wendy Paradise, in her opening remarks, got straight to the point: winter is coming and if a worrying new variant of COVID-19 arises, the Canadian government has put in place an infrastructure to close the border.

As he has done before.

“I’ll be honest, we’re concerned about the upcoming flu season. We are concerned about some of the modeling. And we are concerned about possible federal actions,” Paradis told the audience.

Guided by the belief that travel should be treated no differently than other industries, ACTA is “doing everything possible and being very assertive” to ensure the border remains open, Paradis said.

“[The travel industry] is an economic driver, we shouldn’t be shut down on a whim,” she said, referring to scientific evidence that proved travel restrictions, while active in Canada, had little effect. impact on stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“New border measures equal new financial support”

If worst comes to worst and travel restrictions – such as a non-essential travel advisory or pre-departure testing – are reinstated, ACTA will prioritize the need for urgent financial assistance for travel agencies. travel and independent travel advisors, and will advocate for delays in loan repayments.

“New border measures equals new financial support,” Paradis said, describing other initiatives ACTA has in store, such as ramping up pro-travel messaging on social media and efforts to combat the labor shortage in the industry.

The updates set the stage for the return of ACTA’s series of annual summits, taking place in select Canadian cities this month.

The in-person event – which will move to Richmond, British Columbia on September 20 and then to Laval, Quebec on September 28 – brings together travel advisors and industry leaders for a day of panel discussions, breakout sessions and presentations that revolve around the latest travel industry research, insights, trends and best practices.

ACTA, alongside other organizations such as the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtablespent the COVID-19 pandemic lobbying government officials for a safe and responsible reopening of the travel industry, while fighting for fairness on behalf of travel agents and agencies.

The Air Canada team attends the 2022 ACTA Summit in Toronto.  Left to right: Jamie Fair, Lisa Pierce, Jamie Fox, Tracey Bellamy, Jennifer Backus.  (Pax Global Media)

The summits are taking place as Canada’s debt-ridden travel sector is only beginning to see a recovery after more than two years of pandemic-related challenges.

The events especially allow industry professionals to reconnect in a positive and energizing atmosphere.

As master of ceremonies of the summit Lorraine Simpson pointed out in his keynote address this morning, if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught the industry, it’s to “help each other grow and be able to pivot and do things differently” is the key.

ACTA summit host Lorraine Simpson.  (Pax Global Media)

Wednesday morning saw a range of inspiring and educational programmes.

G Adventures‘ Founder and speaker Tip of Bruce Poon took the stage to discuss ways agents can use travel as a force for change.

Poon Tip, in particular, has produced a revealing new documentary titled The Last touristwhich is reassessing how travel can return more responsibly (the must-see film is now available to stream on have a strong desire to in Canada).

Then there was a panel discussion entitled “How I survived the pandemic, revamped my business and now I’m thriving” led by the moderator Louise Gardiner, CTM, Treasurer of the ACTA Board of Directors and Vice President of The
Agency Solution by The travel agent next door.

For this segment, fellow travel advisors shared how they survived the worst of the pandemic and revamped their business to thrive in today’s new normal.

G Adventures Founder Bruce Poon Tip addresses attendees at the ACTA Summit in Toronto.  (Pax Global Media)

A trade show with over 50 exhibitors also gives attendees the opportunity to get the latest information on major destinations, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines and ground transportation exhibitors.

Later that afternoon, the president of Tripcentral.ca Richard Vanderlube host a conference on rebuilding the Canadian travel industry, together, then Gary C. Sadler, Executive Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations at Sandals and resortswill make an inaugural presentation entitled “The future of travel is bright!” »

The day will end with the ACTA Leadership Awards and a cocktail.

And, of course, all eligible participants have a chance to win great prizes. Cross those fingers!

Stay tuned as pax brings you more coverage from ACTA’s travel industry summit in Toronto. Visit the ACTA website to find out more.

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