A national survey of travel agents, ITAs and travel agencies conducted in April by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) reveals that a staggering 75% of the industry will not survive if financial aid programs are not continued until the end of 2021 or until 90 days after travel restrictions are lifted.
“With the federal budget being tabled on April 19, 2021, we need to let the government know how critical the situation is for travel agencies, travel agents and independent travel agents, citing specific data from our survey,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA. “The results highlight the sustainability issues of our sector without continued and enhanced access to government relief programs both federally and provincially while travel restrictions remain in place.”
When asked what would government programs and policies would best help keep travel agencies and travel agents in business, the number one concern from survey respondents was commission recall, which has now been addressed in the Air Canada aid package announced on Monday.
The next priority was the extension of CRB/EI, CEWS and CERS and the need for a plan to re-open travel – including borders and reducing the hotel quarantine program and the 14-day quarantines.
Other recommendations included HST forgiveness and the extension of the CEBA loan repayment schedule.
The government has also asked ACTA for additional feedback on the HASCAP loan program to understand if it is working for those it was intended for – the Hardest Hit businesses including the travel industry.
Of the small percentage of respondents (7%) that applied for HASCAP, 24% were successful with twice the number (54%) unsuccessful.
93% did not apply for HASCAP, with 43% of those respondents stating that they were concerned with amassing more debt, and 33% stating they didn’t think they qualified.
“ACTA, along with a number of other industry associations we are collaborating with, will continue to advocate for an extension of all aid programs – CEWS, CERS, CRB/EI and the HASCAP loan program – until the end of this year,” said Paradis.
If government relief programs are not extended beyond June18% of respondents will not be able to continue to pay on-going expenses for more than one month.
This percentage increases to 54% beyond three months and by six months the number is 75%
Of the more than 1,000 respondents, 58% were Independent Travel Agents, 31% Owners and 11% Employees.
- 34% will not be able to stay in business without sustained access to Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Relief Subsidy CERS
- 61% will not be able to stay in business without sustained access to Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and Employment Insurance (EI) through to the end of 2021.
- 16% of respondents stated they will not be able to stay in business without access to HASCAP.
Provincial grant/loan programs
Of the list of provincial funding programs provided, the majority of respondents (84%) did not receive funds. However, of this, 28% did not apply and 31% did not apply because they were not eligible.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!