Ottawa, ON – Michelle Ferreri, Conservative Shadow Minister for Tourism, and Bernard Généreux, Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Tourism, issued the following statement on the Trudeau government’s failure to support independent travel advisors through the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Independent travel advisors provide over 75 per cent of business to major Canadian travel suppliers. Without these professionals, our tourism industry will collapse.

“For more than two years, the 12,000 independent travel advisors in this female-dominated industry, who contribute $2.4 billion to our economy have been left behind by the Liberal government. They have been unable to access pandemic relief programs such as the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit (CWLB) and the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF).

“Excluding the independent travel advisors from these programs is another example in the long list of Liberal band-aid solutions and policy failures that has allowed Canadians to fall through the cracks. The damage this has caused is long-term, including mental health impacts such as anxiety, burnout, and depression because they’re falling further behind.

“Despite the fact that independent travel advisors have written and met with the Liberal government and other policymakers hundreds of times since the beginning of the pandemic, little progress has been made to get the necessary support needed to this sector.

“Conservatives are calling on the Trudeau Liberals to immediately review and change the eligibility criteria for the Tourism Relief Fund to include independent travel advisors. The Canadian tourism sector needs our support to recover, and these professionals are a critical part of the tourism sector.”