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Jan 21, 2021

TIABC Formally Outlines Recommendations After Meeting with Premier Horgan & Minister Mark

Advocacy

Re: Meeting with TIABC

Dear Premier Horgan and Minister Mark,

On behalf of the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia, thank you for meeting with us earlier this week to discuss the state of the visitor economy, as well as to outline specific needs and opportunities to allow the sector to not only survive but thrive again.

We commend your government for the work that you’re doing to keep residents and visitors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. BC is widely acknowledged as a leader in managing the crisis thanks to your efforts and those of the PHO.

As you are aware, British Columbia’s $21.5 billion tourism and hospitality industry was the first and continues to be the hardest hit business sector since the COVID-19 pandemic enveloped our province in March of last year. As a vital sector that relies on the movement of people, including visitors from other provinces, territories and countries, the unfortunate but necessary restrictions on non-essential international and domestic travel for most of 2020 (and now into 2021) has led to significant hardship for thousands of small, medium and large business owners, as well as tens of thousands of valued and skilled workers, many of whom remain unemployed. Sadly, this is especially acute for women and vulnerable segments of our society.

As referenced in our meeting, we remain increasingly concerned about the ability of thousands of businesses to survive what is projected to be another extremely challenging year without specific and immediate government intervention and support.

While both the federal and provincial governments have introduced several measures to address business and workforce challenges (for which industry is grateful), there are further measures needed immediately to help the visitor economy through another year of anticipated hardship. Specifically, we believe there are three critical components for consideration to ensure BC’s tourism and hospitality industry survives until such time as international travel resumes and people are able to return to work.

#1 – Consultation, Communication, Mitigation

TIABC requests a formal process be implemented between sector associations (representing tourism and hospitality businesses) government and the PHO to review current and impending orders with the goal to inform industry, consider alternate options, and mitigate the ramifications of these directives.

By way of context, each time the Province announces further restrictions or directives that affect hotels, restaurants, airlines and myriad other tourism and hospitality businesses, public confidence in travel plunges resulting in a flood of cancellations that wreak havoc with staffing, operations and revenues. Especially during these challenging times, tourism and hospitality business owners need some semblance of certainty, or at the very least enough notice to adjust their operations to lessen the impact of any new order.

#2 – Safe & Competitive Re-start, Re-opening Plan

As more countries, provinces, states and cities around the world open or prepare to re-open to non-essential international travel, the Province must identify criteria and work with the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as the federal government, to develop a re-opening plan that includes key components such as ubiquitous rapid testing, an accelerated vaccination program (e.g. for all service workers), border mobility, a workforce strategy, and marketing investments that consider timelines and objectives for each tenet. Sector associations, coalitions and tourism business leaders are committed to work directly with government, as well as agencies such as Destination BC and the PHO on the core elements of a re-opening plan to ensure we are prepared to welcome visitors again when the time is right.

#3 – Closing Financial Relief Gaps

Further government assistance in the form of working capital grants and/or government-secured loans is necessary to allow businesses to remain solvent until such time as domestic, and more importantly, international non-essential travel resumes. While some existing government programs have been welcome and helpful, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises, there are multiple iconic and larger businesses including attractions, hotels, resorts, transportation providers, and others that have yet to qualify for assistance or are unable to access relief measures resulting in billions of dollars in revenue losses collectively. Under normal circumstances, these anchor businesses not only directly employ thousands of skilled and valued employees, they also support a robust tourism eco-system in virtually every community in the province.

Finally, as previously referenced, we believe it is critically important for government to allocate significant resources to accelerate the rate of vaccinations for British Columbians, as well as utilization of rapid testing/screening for both residents and visitors. These steps are vital to tourism and hospitality recovery efforts over the next few months and to avoid further erosion of the visitor economy.

Recognizing the fluidity of the crisis and evolving government priorities to address various pandemic related issues, we nonetheless look forward to working closely with you to move these initiatives forward in short order.

In closing, it is important to note that since the start of the pandemic, virtually every operating tourism and hospitality business has gone above and beyond the call with COVID-19 health and safety protocols to ensure that guests, workers and communities are safe and protected.

Premier Horgan and Minister Mark, as per government’s commitment last Fall, our industry is counting on further government support to recover, rebuild and contribute for the benefit of the entire province.

Thank you very much for your leadership during this most trying time. We look forward to meeting with you again very soon.

Sincerely,

Walt Judas
CEO, TIABC

Vivek Sharma
Chair, TIABC

Cc: Lori Wanamaker, Cabinet Secretary & Head of the Public Service
Geoff Meggs, Chief of Staff, Office of the Premier
Jill Kot, Deputy Minister, Office of the Premier
Neilane Mayhew, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport
Salman Azam, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport

More Advocacy

TIABC webinar series returns on November 24th! 

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are important elements in sustainable labor recovery. But what do these really mean in the workplace context? While businesses are aware of the importance of these elements, many are often unsure where to start.

go2HR is committed to building strong and safe workplaces. We have engaged ParriagGroup, a leading EDI firm, to build a webinar that deepens our understanding of EDI and how to start reshaping the workplace.

Date: November 24th | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm (PT)

Tap link in bio to register. 👆
REMINDER: Registration is open for TIABC 2022 Annual general meeting and industry forum! 🎉 

Registration is open for TIABC's AGM, to be held Friday, November 18th at the Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster. 

Schedule of Activities:
11:00 AM - Reports of the Society and election of directors
12:00 PM - Complimentary lunch for AGM attendees
12:30-2:00 PM - Presentation and workshop on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with guest speaker, Joanna Jagger, founder & president, WORTH (Women of Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality) Association

Register through the link in bio.👆 

#bctourismcounts #bctourism #tourismsector #bc #tourism #bcstrong #explorebc #hellobc #GreenMeansGo
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at TIABC! 🍂 

#explorebc #hellobc
In Recognition of National Truth & Reconciliation Day, TIABC is dedicating this edition of our weekly newsletter to honour the children who never returned home and the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. TIABC understands that public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

We open with an updated re-post from TIABC Director Brenda Baptiste and her poignant editorial from last year's inaugural National Truth & Reconciliation Day. Also included is a "Member Spotlight" on St. Eugene Golf, Resort and Casino which features content relating to the Indigenous peoples and communities in our province.

Tap the link in our bio to read the full newsletter. 👆

#NDTR2022 #OrangeShirtDay #TRCCanda #WeWearOrange #TruthAndReconciliation #NationalDayForTruthAndReconciliation #DestinationIndigenous #IndigenousBC
In Ottawa this week, TIABC CEO Walt Judas met with @tourismhrcanada CEO Philip Mondor to discuss workforce challenges at THRC’s annual Labour Market Forum.
TIABC Call for Nominations 📢

The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) Governance Committee is seeking qualified individuals for the 2022-2024 term that are dedicated to the success of the Association and will support its principles as a member of the Board of Directors. Acceptance of nominations is based on a specific set of skills and experience.

Eligible candidates must demonstrate specific experience in the following areas:

1. Tourism Industry Knowledge

2. Technical & Business Expertise

3. Governance Competencies

4. Education and Training

The Board of Directors is made up of a maximum of 13 directors, consisting of 11 directors elected by the active members. TIABC is seeking a total of six (6) candidates for the 2022-2024 term:

The deadline for application submissions is Friday, September 30th at 5:00 pm

To receive the TIABC Board Nomination Form, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Deborah Kulchiski (Manager, Special Projects, TIABC) at deborah@tiabc.ca or p. 604.530.9979

Tap the link in our bio to learn more. ☝️