Hotel Industry Update
Bill 23 Passes into Law
As you know, on July 22, 2020, the Board of Directors approved amendments to Schedule 1 of the Workers Compensation Act, to add a presumption for infections caused by communicable viral pathogens, which are the subject of a BC-specific emergency declaration or notice.

The Schedule 1 amendments were scheduled to come into effect on October 26, 2020. On August 14, 2020, the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2020 (Bill 23), received Royal Assent, eliminating the mandated 90-day waiting period before the Schedule 1 amendments approved by the Board of Directors came into effect.

As a result of Bill 23, on August 19, 2020 the Board of Directors approved amending the effective date of the Schedule 1 amendments to August 20, 2020. 

The consequential amendments to Item C4-28.00, Contagious Diseases, and Appendix 2 of the Rehabilitation Services & Claims Manual, Volume II will also come into effect on August 20, 2020.
Please click here to view the Resolution.
The Measuring Canadian Travel Patterns dashboard, created by Environics Analytics, helps the Canadian travel and tourism industry understand the impact of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to domestic overnight visitors within Canada, its provinces, territories, and tourism regions.

The dashboard compares visitor travel patterns (to prior weeks in 2020 and year-over-year 2019), as well as compares different regions to assess the impact of the pandemic on Canadian travel patterns and identify when visitors start to return to BC's respective tourism regions.

The week of April 19 (Week 11) saw the largest drop in domestic overnight visitors in British Columbia, dropping 81% from the previous year. Findings are consistent across all BC sub-regions.

While overnight travel is significantly down compared to 2019, an upward trend in movement and overnight stays on a week over week bases was apparent during Weeks 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26 and 27.

All of the BC Regions saw an increase in visitation from Week 26 (July 27-August 2) to Week 27 (August 3-9) with the exception of Vancouver Coast and Mountains .

• The Thompson Okanagan, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast and Vancouver Island saw an increase in visitation over British Columbia during Week 27 (August 3-9).

• The Kootenay Rockies, Northern BC and Vancouver Coast and Mountains saw a decrease in visitation compared to BC during Week 27 (August 3-9).
The past 24 hours in our nation’s capital have been extraordinary, and I would like to share with you what this means for our advocacy work and this industry.
Bill Morneau tendered his resignation as Finance Minister last night and Chrystia Freeland was sworn in as the new Minister of Finance just a few hours ago. She will also be staying on as Deputy Prime Minister, serving in a dual role. 
In addition to this cabinet shuffle, the Government has also announced that they will be shutting down Parliament until the end of September. At that point we will see a new Speech from the Throne and a new Budget or Economic update, presumably (it is being reported) in an attempt to change the channel on the recent WE controversy and to lay out a recovery plan for the nation.
This chaotic change in government comes at a critical time for our sector.
As members know, we have a liquidity program in the final stages of development, and it will need approval by the new Finance Minister in the very near future. Key is whether there is any continuity of previous staff, or whether a new team will be brought in. In either case, we will mobilize quickly to ensure an early briefing and a proper hand over of this well-positioned file. 
The good news is that our proposal does not require legislation to be tabled and adopted, therefore the prorogation of Parliament will not materially impact this progress.
As for our CEWS efforts to secure an increase in the subsidy back to 75% until December, this will require a legislative change. Between now and the return to Parliament, we will be broadening our coalition, applying significant hotelier pressure at the grassroots and building support for an amendment so that our groundwork will be complete as Parliament resumes at the end of September.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced Canada’s Flight Plan for Navigating COVID-19 (Canada’s Flight Plan), which is the foundation for Canada’s current and future efforts to reduce the public health risks of COVID-19 while travelling by aircraft. This action plan puts in place a multi-layered system of safety measures to support public health by protecting air travellers and air industry workers from COVID-19. The Government of Canada has worked with public health authorities, counterparts around the world, and industry partners to develop a plan for COVID safety in air travel that is aligned to emerging global safety standards and best practices.

Key changes apply to all aspects of air travel, including in airports and aircraft. They include travel restrictions; mandatory use of face masks for passengers and crew; mandatory health checks by air carriers prior to passenger boarding; temperature screening at the busiest Canadian airports and at points of origin for all incoming flights to Canada; restricted services and passenger movement during flights; and enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols and practices.

In airports, these designs and measures include enhanced air conditioning and filtration systems; frequent cleaning of high-touch areas; new touchless technologies to scan boarding passes; and physical distancing measures. Modern passenger aircraft also offer a unique environment with design characteristics that reduce the risk of viral transmission. The air is exchanged at a high rate with HEPA filtration in most large commercial aircraft. Further, the potential spread of the virus between rows is reduced by the high seatbacks and the fact that almost all passengers are seated in the same direction.

These measures prioritize the safety and security of travellers and industry employees, and have positioned Canada as an international leader in reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 while travelling by air. To date, the Government of Canada is not aware of any cases attributed to passenger-to-passenger transmission on a flight to or from Canada. However, work continues with the provinces and territories to strengthen contact-tracing processes to reduce and quantify the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel.
Destination BC’s Board of Directors has appointed Richard Porges as Interim President and CEO effective August 20, following the appointment of Marsha Walden as CEO of Destination Canada

Richard has been an integral part of Destination BC’s executive team since 2011 and holds extensive knowledge of and experience working with BC’s vital tourism industry and economic development. Richard was previously Destination BC’s Vice President of Corporate Development. Richard joined the corporation’s research department in 1999, and moved to progressively more senior roles within the provincial government and Destination BC. As Vice President of Corporate Development, Richard provided strategic leadership for Destination BC’s corporate communications, research and analytics, human resources, and corporate services departments. In addition to his role at Destination BC, Richard is also a regular lecturer with the University of Victoria’s Department of Economics. Before joining Destination BC, Richard taught in the Economics, MBA and MPA programs at the University of Victoria, and was a consultant for several government and non-profit organizations. 

Richard and the Corporation’s staff will continue to deliver Destination BC’s programs and services to support BC’s vital tourism industry. The Corporation will also continue to work closely with Minister Beare, Ministry staff and industry partners across the province.
Destination BC’s Board of Directors is hiring an executive search firm to undertake a global recruitment process, to fill the position of President and CEO permanently. The Board is seeking a candidate who has the leadership to drive the organisation’s strategic goals, and support BC’s tourism industry during one of the biggest challenges the sector has ever faced due to COVID-19.
Upcoming Webinars
The BC Hotel Association will be hosting a webinar and open forum in collaboration with go2HR and ABLE and will feature Phil Eastwood, a leading expert in workplace conflict related training. 

BCHA and TIABC will be hosting a webinar and open forum to outline the key issues and provide a reality check on the tourism and hospitality industry, our key messages, and ways we can coordinate and work together towards recovery.

BCHA & Members News
Tourism Fort St. John
Welcome to Fort St. John! We are an energetic city, one built on hard work
and a pioneering spirit.
We also love having fun! Whether it is outdoor recreation, sports, music, the arts, history and more, if you can imagine it, chances are a local entrepreneur or organization has made it happen.

Visit Smithers
Smithers offers outstanding outdoor recreational pursuits during all phases of the year. This includes fishing and hunting, downhill and cross-country skiing, golfing, snowmobiling, canoeing and kayaking and many more. Coupled with a lively music scene, Art Gallery, Museum, theatrical performances and an energetic sporting community, Smithers has something for everyone.