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Sep 9, 2022

TIABC Voice of Tourism Newsletter – September 9th, 2022

TIABC

CEO MESSAGE

Many years ago, my extended family planned a party for my wife and I upon return from our honeymoon. Because our scheduled flight out of London got postponed by a day, we missed the bash entirely. Apparently, guests still had a great time.

On another occasion, we were no-shows to a pre-wedding dinner with the bridal party after our flight from Lisbon to Paris was delayed by eight hours.

It’s safe to say nearly everyone has a similar story of a cancelled or delayed flight that has spoiled personal or business obligations, particularly in recent months. Airlines often cite mechanical issues or crew member shortages as good reasons for a disruption in service. Sometimes it’s a function of bad weather, air traffic control limitations, or lack of airport security personnel to process large volumes of passengers that throws a wrench into travelling by air.

Suffice it to say, delays are either the airline’s fault or beyond their control. Regardless, new rules introduced this week (more details below) obligate companies such as Air Canada and WestJet to reimburse (as opposed to providing credits or vouchers) passengers for cancelled flights even if the cancellation is beyond their control. In such cases, compensation is a regulatory obligation. The rules also dictate that airlines must rebook passengers of cancelled flights on another plane within 48 hours, or if they can’t, reimburse them within 30 days, as well as provide additional compensation upon passenger request.

Yet advocates say the revised regulations don’t go far enough and are essentially useless if for example, a traveller encounters a cancelled flight (inside of 14 days’ notice) that was to depart on a Friday and is subsequently rebooked within the 48 hour window for the day they’re scheduled to return from a weekend getaway. Technically, no compensation is required on the part of the airline. Obviously, the rules don’t cover every single situation or nuance, but for most other situations apply even if the airlines are not at fault.

One part of the discussion that seems to be muted is what it will cost the airlines and ultimately passengers vis-a-vis cancelled flights in particular. As I referenced, airlines must now provide supplementary compensation for instances beyond their control, which in the long run will result in higher ticket prices for travellers to help offset the increased cost to the carrier.

To be clear…airlines need to take responsibility and be held accountable for situations within their sphere of influence, and do everything possible to avoid delays or cancellations. But so do airports and the federal government, which are currently absolved of any financial obligations even if they’re the culprits for the service disruptions. Moreover, compensation for cancellations beyond the purview of the carriers (e.g. severe weather) should not be borne by the airlines alone, or by extension you and me.

At face value, the new refund and compensation rules appear to be a step in the right direction and could adequately compensate customers for missing an important meeting or event. But, as I alluded to earlier, there are other factors to consider in this equation that may be worth further review and changes to policy.

I foresee a time where all transportation providers could face similar obligations vis-a-vis penalties for cancellations or delays…which many consumers would seemingly welcome unless the financial burden is also placed on the passengers themselves via higher ticketing costs…as is likely to be the case with air travel.

Conversely, I also think we need to face the fact that issues such as widespread staff shortages, climate-change related weather events, pandemics, or other factors will continue to impact how, when and where we travel no matter what time of year or mode of transportation. Combined with increasing prices, it makes me wonder how the tourism industry will be affected given that we rely on the efficient and affordable movement of people, not to mention international visitors to help sustain our visitor economy.

My most recent travel delay happened to be in a car rather than an airplane. I missed a gathering with friends on Labour Day after a massive traffic jam on the Coquihalla due to highway construction extended my return trip from Kelowna by a few hours. Next time I won’t attempt to drive home on the unofficial last day of summer vacation and instead take a calculated risk of a delay or cancellation and fly instead.

Walt Judas,

CEO, TIABC

Related Posts

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. ☝️