The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) is urging the federal government to finalize a roadmap to reopen Canada – otherwise the travel and tourism industry will be left behind.
“We are already hearing of other countries reconsidering investing in Canada as a destination and as an outbound market, given Canada’s lack of planning and conditions required for the restart of travel. We need the plan in order to keep Canada globally competitive…inbound and outbound,” said Wendy Paradis, president of ACTA, on Friday (May 7).
For several months now, ACTA has been lobbying the government to develop a roadmap for recovery, as outlined in its 2021 Tourism and Travel Recovery Plan.
The association says governments need to work with the travel industry on rapid testing, contact tracing, vaccine documentation and protocols in order to ease travel advisories and reduce quarantine measures over time.
ACTA isn't alone. Earlier this week, and ahead of the G7 meeting being held in the U.K in June, leaders of the U.S. and UK aviation, travel and tourism industries presented Reopening US UK Air Travel to President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson.
“Even with the roll out of vaccines well underway, ACTA understands that large events and widespread travel may not be possible today as we are still in the third wave,” said Paradis.
“However, projections show that Canada will be in very good shape with vaccines by mid to late summer of 2021. We need a roadmap that outlines clear metrics for re-opening. We need to get ready.”
“Planning is well underway”
ACTA is urging Ottawa to develop clear data-driven criteria for the conditions required for the restart of travel that includes:
- A continued robust and effective vaccine rollout plan
- A national testing and contact tracing strategy
- Digital verification tools for international travel
- Reduction of mandatory hotel stopover
- Reducing or eliminating the 14-day quarantine
- Easing of travel advisories
ACTA, from what it hears in meetings with government officials, says “planning is well underway,” Paradis said.
“We are also finally seeing and hearing the government speak publicly about vaccine documentation and testing tools, and alignment with other G20 countries more and more over the past few weeks,” she said. “We expect this to continue as we get closer to the G7 Summit in early June.”
“We understand there is some reluctance to roll out Canada’s Roadmap for fear of sending mixed messages to Canadians while we are in the midst of a third wave.”
ACTA will be presenting its Roadmap to Recovery and other recommendations to Health Canada today.
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