SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT: ACTA golf tourney brings industry together

Though it is universally agreed that business is booming, the Canadian travel industry certainly still has its share of woes at the moment – though for one shining day in Milton, Ont., the rain clouds parted and the sun beamed down for close to 200 enthusiastic participants in ACTA’s 34th annual summer golf tournament.

Such was the prelude to the morning that registration was set up indoors in case the night’s wrathful rain lingered, but by the time golfers hit the (soggy) course at Royal Ontario on July 13, the sky was blue and all seemed right in the world.

Later, during her evening address, ACTA president Wendy Paradis would recount the association’s current activities and efforts: addressing an industry-wide labour shortage, including attracting new talent (especially young people); advocating for debt relief from the government for travel agencies; and channeling anger and “stopping some of the changes” that ACTA believes are coming in TICO’s ongoing and “not transparent” institutional review in Ontario.

But, “We are better when we work together,” she rallied (to applause) in her passionate address, and added, “We’ve got your back!”

However, this day was mostly about golf and its critical byproducts: renewing friendships; networking with dozens of industry sponsors; and the undying respect and support of suppliers for the travel agents in attendance – and those who weren’t.

And, of course, prizes – lots and lots of prizes – not least tickets for some lucky winners courtesy of lead sponsor Air Canada.

Barbados offered (rum) drinks and Myrtle Beach (back) massages amongst on-course activations, others skill testing games, and Antigua-Barbuda laid the soundtrack to the event with island rhythms and two colourful carnival dancers, while the tourism authority’s sales and marketing manager for Canada Tameka Wharton also dropped her own draw-dropping vocals on the proceedings for the second year running.

Ultimately and simply, Wharton explained her presence on the day: “We just wanted to be part of something good.”

And it was.

Here are a few images from the event:

The rhythms of Antigua and Barbuda
On course with Air Canada and friends
Fab foursome: Mike Baginski; Colette Trabucco, Creative Travel; Kimberly Langenberg and Ron Lonsdale, Collette
Terrific trio: Joanne Scalamogna, Liz Akey, Kimberly Hartley
And, the winners…

First published at Travel Industry Today


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