Tuesday,  May 24, 2022  12:40 pm

ACITA invites all agents to participate in paper petition campaign in support of trade

ACITA invites all agents to participate in paper petition campaign in support of trade
Of ACITA: Judith Coates, TTAND (left); Nancy Wilson, TravelOnly (top, right); Brenda Slater, Beyond the Beach (bottom, right).
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA) is asking for all travel advisors, agency owners and travel industry personnel to join them in gathering signatures for an onslaught of paper petitions to be read by MPs in the House of Commons.

A paper petition requires only 25 signatures in order to be presented in the House by a sponsoring MP.  

"We want to flood the House of Commons with the message that we will not back down until the government recognizes that the travel industry needs support,” said Judith Coates, co-founder of ACITA, which formed in June of 2020.

There are currently three different petitions available for signature: one for commission protection from the airlines/tour companies who are still in negotiations with the government for a bailout package, one for an extension of the CRB, and one for sector-specific funding.

Click here to participate. 

ALL agents invited 

While ACITA was formed to give independent travel advisors a collaborative voice when reaching out to government officials about the unique circumstances they face due to COVID, all travel agents – independent or not – are invited to gather signatures.

READ MORE: “Unfair & unjust”: MP Bergen stands up for agents in the House; ACITA invited to 2 caucus advisory meetings

The only criteria are that people signing are a resident or citizen of Canada and that they provide their contact information.

There is no minimum age to sign and the signatures do not need to be from the travel industry exclusively. They can be members of the same household, too.

"This is a really great way to have our voice continually heard in the House of Commons, on an ongoing basis,” said Flemming Friisdahl, president and founder of The Travel Agent Next Door, who has been helping ACITA in their efforts. "We need to keep our requirements front and centre until we receive the assistance that will keep this industry going for years to come."

Taking care of business 

While the travel industry continues to deal with setbacks, from agency closures to a zero recovery rate due to travel restrictions, ACITA is one group that isn’t sitting back and waiting for someone else to fix things.

The initiative is led by Coates of The Travel Agent Next Door, Brenda Slater of Beyond the Beach and Nancy Wilson of TravelOnly. 

ACITA members arrange Zoom meetings with their local MPs so they can explain why they need help. (Supplied)

The group rallies independent travel advisors on a private Facebook group, urging members to schedule a one-on-one Zoom meeting with their local MP so they can personally explain why they need help and how the travel shutdown is affecting their businesses.

To date, the group has met with more than 175 cabinet ministers, members of parliament and policy advisors, giving travel advisors a loud and sounding voice in Ottawa.

ACITA is asking for all travel advisors to get on board to assist in their latest paper petition campaign. 

If you are interested in helping, click here to register and ACITA will send you the petitions along with all other instructions.

Travel agents that do not belong to ACITA's private Facebook group for independent agents are welcome to message the association through its website or public Facebook page.

You can also follow ACITA’s progress on Twitter here.

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