Canadian Business Leaders Seek Urgent Help for Battered Tourism and Travel Sectors
September 11, 2020 Jim Byers
Canadian business leaders are getting impatient with Ottawa’s refusal to meet and talk about how COVID-19 has impacted the tourism and travel industries.
“This week, as tourism ministers across the country convened at the Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers, business leaders in the sector are calling for urgent dialogue and action with governments to discuss the pandemic and its impacts on the sector.
The travel and tourism sector employs over 1.8 million Canadians. As one of the hardest hit industries from COVID, it is imperative that governments and the sector also convene about how to ensure that the many COVID-related job losses and business shutdowns do not become permanent. To date, calls to the federal government to convene this meeting have gone unanswered, officials said in a press release issued today (Sept. 11, 2020).
COVID is a serious health emergency, but it also presents a serious economic emergency that governments need to address.
The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable (CTTR) represents the largest cross-section of travel and tourism employers and stakeholders – including Canada’s largest airports, airlines, hotels, travel agencies, boards of trade, and chambers of commerce. This group, which brings together fierce competitors, has joined forces to establish constructive sector-wide public safety measures, and to rebuild public trust in the safety of travel.
“The only way to sustain the sector is for industry leaders to be at the table with government, and collectively put a plan together that aims at sector relief and measured reopening,” said Steve Sammut, President & CEO of Vancouver-based Rocky Mountaineer. “The CTTR has repeatedly reached out to government to start a dialogue on how we can approach a reopening of our sector in a safe and measured fashion.”
“We are asking this government to act on measures taken around the world, such as testing and opening safe travel corridors to get our businesses, employees and customers moving again,” stated Mike McNaney, President & CEO of the National Airlines Council of Canada. “We hope the Ministers will consider our ask for a coordinated summit with industry and government leaders to prevent long-term structural changes to our sector. Nearly two million Canadians depend on it.”
About the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable
The Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable is comprised of leaders across the travel and tourism industry – with representatives from airlines, airports, hotels, and chambers of commerce across Canada. Our mission is to promote a responsible reboot of the travel and tourism industries by prioritizing safety and adherence to new regulations.
About the Author
Jim Byers was travel editor for five years at the Toronto Star, which has the largest travel section in North America. “Canada’s Travel Guy” is a sought-after expert in the industry and has recently published his first e-book “Ontario Escapes, 19: Places to Visit Right Now.” Jim also serves as Senior Editorial Director for TravelPulse Canada.