Yesterday, Dr.Bonnie Henry advised of a spike in COVID-19 cases from this past weekend. While we continue to monitor for any major changes to our numbers within BC, it is important to reinforce that each of you are confident in your ability to implement safety protocols and procedures that protect you along with your employees, guests and communities.
WorkSafeBC has recently updated safety guidelines and protocols, relaxing many of the measures that we feel are integral in quelling the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the BC Hotel Association continues to recommend implementing stringent safety procedures, especially in light of the recent uptick that has a magnifying glass on our industry. We must hold one another accountable and continue practicing these safe measures in order to combat the spread of this virus for our own economic survival; this includes ensuring our guests are also maintaining their physical distance and abiding by public safety measures during their stay. We know that it is possible to travel safely within our province and remain dedicated to amplifying that message so we can witness our industry bounce back.
As we continue to also draw attention to the reality that meetings can be held and conducted in a safe manner, last week we had the pleasure of demonstrating this ourselves with our first in-person board meeting of this year. Our board members from across the province safely gathered at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront in Vancouver to discuss a lengthy list of important advocacy efforts, all while practicing physical distancing and safety guidelines. The success of this event continues to showcase the ongoing efforts over the past few months for the hotel industry. More insight on this event is included below.
Also outlined further below, TIABC has just released an outline for a recovery stimulus package for tourism and hospitality, totalling $600 million. Recognizing that the accommodation sector is a huge component in this industry, the best interests of each of you have been included in this work. The proposed recovery stimulus package proposed by the tourism and hospitality sector has three components that include:
A Working Capital Recovery Grant ($475 million)
Support for Adaptation Costs ($190 million) that would provide funds to: help businesses adapt their
Support for Developing Resilient, B.C.-focused Supply Chains ($15 million).
Finally, the BCHA would like to congratulate Vivek Sharma as the new board chair of TIABC. Vivek is on the executive committee of the BCHA board and will continue to be an important voice for the industry in this new role. We extend our thanks to Alroy Chan for his impactful and tireless work during his time as the chair.
Earlier this week, the Province announced proposed changes to the Workers Compensation Act to "focus on improving supports for injured workers, while also advancing worker safety."
The key changes include:
raising the maximum annual salary amount on which workers’ compensation benefits are based from $87,100 to $100,000
authorizing WorkSafeBC to provide preventative medical treatment before a claim is accepted
giving powers to the court to issue WorkSafeBC search and seizure warrants that are appropriate for investigating workplace safety infractions
giving people a voice in serious workplace prosecutions and trials by using victim impact statements
Note about deferred premiums:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, WorkSafeBC is allowing businesses to defer paying their premiums for six months without penalty or interest. As well, WorkSafeBC is waiving premiums on wages paid to workers of employers receiving the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy for the duration of the program.
Last week, the BCHA held their quarterly board meeting at the
Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront in Vancouver The event was extremely successful in executing an in person meeting exemplifying social distancing protocols, guidelines, and standards for hotel meeting spaces. Sixteen of our board members from across the province were able to meet to discuss the ongoing advocacy efforts and government relations of the association both successful thus far and ongoing.
The board was also able to experience an exciting evening at FlyOver Canada, another great blueprint of safety guidelines being implemented without affecting the amazing experience of soaring over Canada. This two day session reinforced that meetings and travel can be done safely when abiding by recommended protocols.
Tourism Victoria Launches
Reconnect in Greater Victoria
Reconnect in Greater Victoria with family and loved ones this summer. Reconnect to nature, reconnect to special places you’ve missed, to favourite restaurants and social activities you used to enjoy. And as a special thank you from our DMF hotel partners, during this special summer promotion, visitors who book a two-night stay also get a bonus $75 VISA Reward Card!
Since last month's announcement of our new GoGreen program, in partnership with FortisBC, our Energy Analyst, Dylan Tomlin, has been hard at work assisting property's in making a shift toward more sustainable and efficient operations. Through the GoGreen program, Dylan provides properties an assessment that outlines the following:
Analysis of energy costs, consumption, and overall energy performance
Technology and equipment inventory for high energy use equipment
Room controls survey and optimization for lighting and HVAC
Benchmarking against similar properties across Canada
Identify alternate revenue sources and available incentives and rebates
FortisBC Rebates (Natural gas and Electricity)
List of energy saving opportunities
Present business case to hotel management
Recommended next steps for equipment replacement
Action list for no/low cost ways to reduce energy costs while experiencing low occupancy due to COVID-19
BC Hydro Incentives
We encourage our members to take advantage of this unique and transformative program by signing up here. To date...
5 Virtual Energy Assessments have been booked
4 Virtual Energy Assessments have been completed
13 properties have expressed interest through our online survey
34 additional hotels that have expressed interest through email or phone conversations
As part of our education pillar, BCHA continues to offer new courses and webinars from our education partners. Through our education series, BCHA members and hospitality professionals may access tools for continued growth within the hospitality industry at a significantly reduced price. We encourage you to take this time to explore the courses below:
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As B.C. reopens to tourists following the lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, a Kelowna hotel is seeing an increase in reservations while others in the province remain closed. Trina Notman, the VP of sales and marketing for Hotel Zed, says ...
B.C. warned of potential for 'explosive growth' as 102...
B.C. has seen a surge in new COVID-19 infections over the weekend, and officials are warning that the province is at a tipping point. On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presented the latest numbers on the toll the novel...
Hotel association calls for deferment of 2020 property...
A downtown Vancouver hotel faces a property tax bill of $300,000 in September with virtually no revenue expected this summer to pay for it. John Nicholson, whose company operates the boutique Listel Hotel on Robson, said the hotel has already...
Throughout COVID-19, there has been an increase in fraudulent certification programs. Members have reported receiving emails encouraging them to participate. Be cautious and research the validity of these organizations when approached. For further guidance, contact our team at BCHA before engaging - email@example.com . BCHA is currently working with industry partners and our provincial and national counterparts regarding a certification program, and the pro’s and con’s of developing and managing one on behalf of industry. We will keep you apprised.