The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO)'s CEO and Registrar is calling the current situation surrounding COVID-19 "unprecedented and dire times for travellers and the entire travel industry."
In a letter issued Monday (March 16), Richard Smart addressed "this unparalleled event:"
"Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unparalleled event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities and governments around the world who are on the front-lines working to contain the coronavirus/COVID-19," Smart wrote. "For our registrants, we acknowledge the extreme challenges underway for your businesses and employees, and recognize the incredible support you’re providing to assist consumers."
Smart went on to write how it's a "stressful time" for consumers, noting that "Ontario’s travel agencies, websites and tour operators are here to support you."
He advised travellers with later departures to consider waiting on calling as requests are being processed based on the date of departure.
"These circumstances are unprecedented and travel companies are working to assist you as quickly as possible," Smart wrote.
TICO is vigilantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation "around the clock" and considering all options, Smart stated.
"At TICO, we have implemented measures to ensure our operations and staff remain available to provide service to consumers and registrants, while respecting the hygiene and social distancing practices requested by the authorities," he wrote.
He advised anyone trying to get in touch with TICO during this time to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-451-TICO (8426).
"While we all work together to contain this virus, TICO will continue to support consumers with information, direction and support while also working with registrants with compassion and flexibility," Smart wrote. "We will continue to post any updates on our website as they become available."
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