Dear Walt Judas and Vivek Sharma:
Thank you for your letter of June 7, 2021, regarding BC’s Restart Plan and the certainty it
provides to tourism and hospitality businesses. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share
your feedback with me.
It has taken all of us paddling together to reach this pivotal point in the pandemic, where there is
a palpable sense of hope and optimism for the future, not only for us as leaders who have worked
so hard to guide our industry through this pandemic, but also for the families and communities
that for the first time in over a year can see a path forward. As long as vaccination rates continue,
and cases and hospitalization remain low, British Columbia (B.C.) will continue to move through
our reopening phases.
The level of cooperation and partnership between industry and government throughout this
pandemic has been unprecedented, and I am grateful for the steady hand of the Tourism Industry
Association of BC in providing guidance to businesses and recommendations to government so
that we could reach this point. It is my intention to continue working closely together towards
recovery, resilience and beyond, and have that be the legacy that carries forward from this
I am personally looking forward to travelling in B.C. this summer with my family and supporting
our tourism operators, and I know thousands of other B.C. families are planning vacations across
the province this summer as well. However, I am also keenly aware that there is still a long road
to recovery, and that the industry will need more support. As you know, Budget 2021 committed
an additional $50 M for recovery and resilience initiatives for the tourism sector this fiscal year.
I look forward to discussing how best to allocate these funds with you and other industry leaders
in the weeks ahead at the tourism advisory table. I also commit that our Government will
continue our advocacy to the Federal Government to re-open our borders to international visitors
as soon as it is safe to do so.
Thank you again for writing.
Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport