CATO members and other leaders in travel and tourism met last week to discuss issues critical to the industries’ restart and recovery. They determined there was a need for clear and concise criteria particularly regarding the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of borders.
That criteria, says CATO in a statement, while serving public health, would immensely help industry to forecast and plan for recovery.
CATO also said that with “the industry at a complete standstill, it is critical that the CEWS (Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy) program be extended beyond its current expiration, until at least March 31, 2021.
“Even after any restart, it will take months to realize any revenue from advance payments and could be years before the industry achieves any sustainable level.”
CATO members have prepared a position statement which focuses on the two issues which will be the basis for a letter-writing campaign to various Ministers and Members of Parliament.
CATO’s Pierre LePage and Brett Walker will be appearing before an Ontario Legislative Assembly (OLA) Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Activity today, August 18th to once again highlight the need for a change to the funding of the Ontario Travel Compensation Fund.
Meanwhile CATO issued the following:
CATO states critical need to extend Wage Subsidy Program to help Canadian Tour Operators survive and preserve thousands of jobs.
Why do Tour Operators need more help than most?
1. Tour Operators were the very first to be impacted by Covid 19, and will be the very last to restart their businesses to any acceptable degree.
2. Travel restrictions imposed on Canadians and international travellers into Canada have virtually. halted all travel. With little or no easing in sight, there is no horizon for any real recovery.
3. Emergency out-of-country health insurance is effectively unavailable for Covid 19 coverage.
4. With or without effective vaccines, any increase in travel will be exceedingly slow, requiring operators to expend double the resources to produce travel experiences in a safety-conscious environment.
5. Revenues produced by these limited travel experiences will be insufficient to cover the added costs incurred for a very long time.
6. Tour Operators face unique business challenges with long lead times with no revenue from booking date to travel date.
7. Cash flow restrictions from trust accounting requirements and the need to hold any deposits, amplified by the need to offer extremely flexible cancellation and change policies, offering operators limited surety of the reliability of any travel bookings.
8. Fixed costs have continued unabated since mid-March and will continue well past the current anticipated extinction of the CEWS Wage Subsidy program.
9. Without government support, the extended wait for any recovery will be the ultimate blow to many operators and thousands of jobs.
What do Tour Operators Need?
Tour Operators require CEWS, the Emergency Wage Subsidy Program, to be extended at least until March 31st of 2021, in order to survive and eventually return to being major contributors to the Canadian economy. Without it, many thousands of jobs will be lost.
Source: Travel Industry Today
CATO WANTS CLEAR AND CONCISE CRITERIA: Questions easier asked than answered