Dear Minister of Economic Development,
Canada’s Travel and Tourism agents are facing a dire situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While most currently closed businesses operate on immediate payment for services rendered, travel agents do not get paid for their work until roughly 3 weeks AFTER the travel has been undertaken.
This means that once the lockdowns and travel restrictions are lifted, it could be 2 to 4 months before travel agents see any commission income from their work. Compounding this problem is that Canadians may be reluctant to travel once restrictions are lifted in Canada, and international travel restrictions will vary based on countries recovery from COVID-19.
Minister, it is estimated that Canadians working in the travel booking industry could be without income well into October 2020, even if the travel ban is lifted by the summer. These workers may need help beyond what has been proposed by your Government.
I am asking that, for tourism and travel booking businesses, the extension of CERB benefits, HST relief, and wage subsidy program be considered to help offset the prolonged effects the COVID-19 lockdown will have on these workers.