A recent survey of Canadians conducted by Mainstreet Research on behalf of travel industry clients reveals that 58.7 per cent of voters support continued wage, rent, and other subsidies for travel agent businesses.
The survey examined the impacts of COVID-19 on travel plans and what voters want to ensure the security of Canada’s travel sector.
"We were pleased to see that voters of all political stripes and demographics support continued federal support to travel-related sectors, helping ensure a stable and competitive industry for the upcoming recovery,” said Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA.
Key highlights of the Mainstreet Research survey include:
- 58.7 per cent of Canadians support continuing federal subsidies to travel-related industries, with strong support among all parties by voter intention (including undecided voters) and demographics
- 40 per cent booked travel that was cancelled because of the pandemic
- 61 per cent say they plan to travel once restrictions are lifted
- One in five Canadians say that once restrictions are lifted, they will travel more than they did before the pandemic.
ACTA conducts awareness campaign with all MPs
ACTA will be making all MPs aware of the survey results and reminding them that in 2019, travel agent businesses generated nearly $3B in revenue and supported 24,000 jobs.
Most are small businesses and sole proprietors, and 75 per cent identify as women. At risk are the livelihoods of thousands of entrepreneurs, mothers, and dedicated professionals from all walks of life.
ACTA will remind MPs that since the start of the pandemic, over 800 permanent storefront travel agencies have closed and 75 per cent of members report being on the verge of bankruptcy, but for government support programs. Travel agent businesses have been operating at near-zero revenue over the pandemic, even while working throughout to process government-mandated refunds and future travel credits.
“We are encouraged that there is hope for a significant rebound of travel once the pandemic concerns are behind us,” said Paradis. ”Travel agents are already seeing an uptick in bookings for this winter and next year and this survey certainly supports increased demand coming soon.”
She added: “However, travel restrictions and advisories remain, and travel agent businesses will need continued federal support at full levels and for 90 days after restrictions and advisories are lifted to survive continued months of little to no revenue.”
How you can get involved
ACTA encourages all travel agents to participate in the Call to Action issued earlier this month. With MPs working from their constituency offices and provinces easing restrictions allowing people to hold in-person meetings, now is the time to call and request an in-person meeting, if possible.
ACTA asks that you tell them the importance of extending the government subsidy programs and include awareness of this survey that shows support for extended aid to our sector by consumers.
Also, do not forget to consider sharing your story with local papers and on social media.
Finally, please let ACTA know about your advocacy efforts so the association can amplify the message.
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