Dear Accommodation Community,
As the road to economic recovery still remains unclear, operators are also looking to the future and are concerned about long-term impact. The concern for hotels in urban centers and remote resort destinations is even greater as both rely heavily on international tourism. Accomodators question as to when they will be once again begin welcoming visitors in British Columbia such as conventions and conferences, tour business, the cruise market, and corporate meetings and events. Each of these markets hold a significant impact in different regions and accommodators in BC, and without any certainty of reopening these markets in the near future, the burden of debt and solvency is increasingly dire. Today we saw the first large corporate hotel file for bankruptcy.. link to Trump Tower announcement. Without prospect for demand growth, or revenue coming in, with continued uncertainty and lack of messaging about domestic travel, or potential bubble travel for the fall and winter season, my worst fear is other hotels will also be facing bankruptcy this is the heartbreaking reality.
BCHA has recently sent a policy brief submission to Finance, Municipal Affairs, Tourism and the Premier outlining the immediate need and two alternatives for relief measures Policy Brief in included below. We need you, as voting citizens, as hoteliers and tourism businesses to speak to your MLA’s and ensure they understand the importance of supporting this relief and recovery measure.
The union demonstrations this past week have been a source of frustration for our industry, especially since the industry has been asking to negotiate temporary lay off and recall language with the union in order to protect the employees they so greatly value. Unfortunately, the union has been stalling, and refusing to meet until the middle of September. Instead of meeting with employers, the union is asking government to change the labour code which would affect every business in the province instead of respecting and supporting the collective bargaining process. Never, in my years in this industry have I seen such a blatant example of risking the very survival of the industry, in the interests of avoiding negotiation. The $680million relief submission from TIABC was an industry submission, which ensures jobs are protected, and employers can continue to provide secure employment and tax revenue to the provincial government. The union is stating to government and the media that the industry does not need this recovery investment – which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Missing lunch, in my experience doesn’t constitute a hunger strike.
Yesterday, we held a webinar and open forum with members of events and conference service teams across the province to outline many of the frequently asked questions and provide some transparency on current PHO's, guidelines, and restriction as they relate to events and meetings being held in hotels. The recording and presentation are available below.
In addition, we will be hosting a webinar in partnership with TIABC next week outlining the state of the Hospitality & Tourism industry in BC and answering questions from you, our industry. The central focus being that as we forge ahead, it will be critical the we collectively work together from an educated and unified voice. The pulse check for the province will be included, and discussion regarding fall, recovery and the important strategies BCHA and TIABC are working on will be profiled. Further information and sign up below.
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association