The launch of the Association of Retail Travel Agents Canada (ARTA Canada) has been announced and the new group will be the strategic partner in Canada of U.S.-based ARTA and will be based in Toronto. The group is 100 percent Canadian-controlled and managed, and is a non-profit travel agency association federally incorporated in Canada.
“ARTA Canada will follow in the footsteps of the 45-year-old impressive and successful traditions of one of the most effective and renowned travel agency trade associations, ARTA— now with a unique and distinctive focus on Canada,” association spokesmen said.
ARTA Canada's inaugural board of directors includes Mark Greenwood, Travel Masters, Vancouver; Gordon Miller, Uniglobe Premier Travel Planners, Ottawa; David Miller, Imperial Travel American Express, Montréal; and Simon Parry, Helen Thompson Travel, Toronto. Bruce Bishins, CTC has been tapped as ARTA Canada's president and CEO.
Free membership of up to one year is offered to any travel agency which is currently a member of Canadian trade groups. Travel agencies which are not currently a member of an existing travel agency association in Canada may join ARTA Canada at no charge for six months. Travel agencies wishing to avail themselves of the free membership offer must do so by October 31.
In addition to travel agency membership, ARTA Canada will offer individual travel counselor membership. “As the travel agency distribution channel evolves, many travel agents are home-based, self-employed, outside contractors, or using host agencies in the sale of travel,” ARTA Canada said. The cost of individual travel counselor membership is CAD $100 per year. Students and travel schools may join ARTA Canada as Associates.
ARTA Canada is a non-profit federally incorporated professional association consisting exclusively of travel agencies and travel agents. In addition to advocating fair and equitable treatment of travel consumers, ARTA Canada represents the commercial and strategic interests of its member travel agencies and travel agents in a variety of national and provincial domains including regulatory and legislative matters, automation, technology, sales and marketing, and distribution.