The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)—the world’s largest business travel association and a leader in education, research, networking and advocacy for the industry—came out in support of the Government of Canada’s recent budget that directs over $800 million to increase safety and improve facilitation for all travelers arriving in Canada, or traveling within, for business or leisure as part of its plan for a post-pandemic recovery. This confirms, the GBTA said, that the federal government recognizes the critical role that air travel plays in facilitating trade and commerce, not only between countries but between Canadians from coast to coast.
“[This week's] federal budget recognizes that air travel is a critical component of Canada’s post-pandemic recovery and the growth of its economy,” said Nancy Tudorache, regional vice president Canada of the GBTA, in a press statement. “Nearly $1 billion is being directed to the [Canada Border Services Agency], [Canadian Air Transport Security Authority] and border infrastructure to improve safety during travel, as well as aid facilitation for frequent fliers, largely represented by business travelers.”
While the federal government’s investment in travel safety and facilitation improves the conditions that will make Canada a more attractive place to do business, GBTA is encouraging the government to continue to examine other measures that will ease entry into Canada post-pandemic. In addition, a detailed plan outlining the easing of border restrictions would be welcomed by all travelers—domestic or foreign, and for business or leisure—in the coming weeks.
“As pandemic conditions improve, we also expect the government to outline a detailed plan and timeframe that would allow us to safely reopen our borders, to both international and domestic travelers.” added Tudorache.
The travel and tourism industry is recognized as among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a significant contributor to the economy, the sooner this industry recovers and individuals are able to resume traveling safely for business and leisure, the sooner the Canadian economy will improve and return to pre-pandemic levels.