The Association of Canadian Independent Travel Advisors (ACITA) has launched a new federal petition that calls on the Government of Canada to remove all pre-arrival negative COVID-19 testing for Canadian travellers.
The e-petition, launched Thursday (March 10), was initiated by ACITA co-founder Brenda Slater of Beyond the Beach and sponsored by Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman of Thornhill, ON.
The petition, ACITA’s second this year, points out that Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and that a growing number of issues are being reported by Canadian travellers in destination, including inaccuracy of tests (false positives), price gouging, lateness of results and reports of people obtaining counterfeit tests.
Some labs contracted by resorts are also “providing falsified results to keep guests for extended stays at their own expense,” the petition reads.
The petition also notes some countries that have dropped testing requirements for vaccinated travellers at their borders, including (but not limited to) the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Germany, France and Denmark.
“The latest scientific evidence suggests that now is the time for Canada to consider doing the same,” the petition reads.
After surveying its members, ACITA, earlier this year, learned that testing in destination is the single greatest deterrent for consumers to book new travel.
The petition, which can be viewed and signed here, will be open until April 9, 2022, at 11:19 a.m. (EDT). Anyone (whether they work in the travel industry or not) can sign it.
The group's new petition comes as the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of industry leaders, continues to put pressure on Ottawa to drop all testing measures for fully vaccinated travellers.
Corporate leaders joined the Roundtable in Toronto on Thursday to explain how pre-arrival testing rules are decimating business travel in Canada and stifling Toronto tourism.
"Pre-departure testing is a barrier to business travel,” said Nancy Tudorache, regional vice-president, Canada of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), at a press conference. “Canada's travel rules complicate business planning, do not permit flexibility or schedule changes, add tremendous uncertainty, hurt productivity, and create financial burdens for businesses looking to send their employees into or returning to Canada.”