A Message from BCHA President & CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Good Afternoon Hotel and Accommodation Industry;

Thank you to all who reached out following Premier Horgan's announcement yesterday surrounding the provincial government's intention to implement new restrictions on travel.

We are keenly aware of the frustrating lack of information and the partial details provided. It is important to note, that until the “order” is implemented, which we believe will be Friday of this week, everything remains the same. The PHO recommendation limiting non-essential travel in BC remains in place. 

While we anticipate that the order will ban non-essential travel, it is important to note that:
  • Once we have more information on what the order includes, our accommodation community will play a role in educating travellers and employees.
  • We will be developing and sending a list of key messages, and a toolkit for you to use to educate and mitigate non-essential travel over the next 5 weeks. This will include messaging for email confirmations, website, staff-training and more.
  • We have been upfront in communicating that our accommodators cannot, and should not, be responsible for policing reservations; though, we will have a large role and responsibility to support restrictions in order to save our summer.
  • In addition to the communications work we are undertaking with government and our partner organizations (TIABC, ITBC, DBC), we are also actively addressing:
  • The desperate financial needs of our industry and what can be done to immediately support affected businesses. Please note, this is a central component in our discussions and we are doing our absolute best to secure this funding.
  • The creation and implementation of a phased reopening plan that will support our industry's recovery and include positive messaging to repair the current sentiment surrounding travel.
  • Saving the Summer season is a critical goal and we will keep that in mind in all of our discussions this week.

Items you have raised which we will be able to answer in the coming days:
  • How should accommodators handle future reservations?
  • How should accommodators handle out of province reservations?
  • How should accommodators manage in transit, interprovincial guests this weekend, specifically? 
  • Is there a definition of what is, and what is not, “essential travel”? 
  • Can we direct potential guests to a specific provincial website with such a definition?
  • What are the regions where individuals are able to travel within?
  • Is the intention for people to be allowed to move within their health region or is the intended message to stay within your city / municipality?
  • Are OTA's going to charge accommodators for canceling out of area reservations?
  • What relief measures will be available to affected businesses?
  • How is the province intending to police this directive?  
  • Should hotels accept corporate rate bookings only but question or follow up any leisure rate bookings of those originating outside the health region or city?
  • Should hotels only publish corporate rates / essential services travel for the next 5-week period and eliminate published leisure rates?  
  • Is the government going to crack down on the violators on the beaches and parks (as seen on TV)?
  • Are the roadside inspections going to be “informational stops” or are they actually going to be fines handed out?
  • What about Air BNBs and other vacation rentals - will they be included in these restrictions and messaging?

We look forward to answering these questions over the coming days as well as many others you have forwarded our way. As always, we are working on your behalf and with your best interests at heart.

Stay safe and stay well,

Ingrid Jarrett
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association
Today's update includes:

  • Federal Budget Announced
  • Province Introducing Paid Leave for Workers to get COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Upcoming Webinar: BCHA & TIABC Tourism & Hospitality Industry Update
  • Updated Industry Backgrounder
  • Tell Us Your Story Deadline Extended

For any questions please reach out to our team. 
Federal Budget Announced
Budget 2021 A Sign of Progress towards Canada’s Tourism Economy’s Recovery 
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland stood in the House of Commons to outline details of the long anticipated federal budget. The following is a high-level snapshot of the supports outlined in the announcement. Budget 2021 proposed supports that total to $1 billion over three years for tourism, starting in 2021-22.
Indigenous Tourism 
  • $2.4 million in 2021-22 to the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to help the Indigenous tourism industry rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) & Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
  • Extension of the wage and rent subsidies until September 25, 2021, with potential until November 20, 2021. It also proposes to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, 2021, in order to ensure an orderly phase out in tandem with vaccinations. TIAC has been advocating for an extension to at least end of 2021, and while we welcome this extension, we will continue our work to ensure the hardest hit businesses receive continued support. 
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund 
  • $500 million Tourism Relief Fund, administered by the regional development agencies to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting to the pandemic.
  • $200 million through the regional development agencies to support major festivals and $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more.
  • Proposes extension of the application deadline for similar support under the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund and the Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021. Budget 2021 proposes to provide up to $80 million in 2021-22 on a cash basis, for the regional development agencies, and to shift remaining funds under the Indigenous Business Initiative into 2021-22, to support an extended application deadline for the RRRF and Indigenous Business Initiative until June 30, 2021. This would support small businesses in rural communities so that they can continue to serve local populations. 
These measures will help restore Canadians’ confidence in the safety of air travel when public health restrictions and border measures are adjusted. 
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
  • Introduction of the new Canada Recovery Hiring Program to provide eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 per cent on the incremental remuneration paid to eligible employees between June 6, 2021 and November 20, 2021.
  • $595 million to make it easier for businesses to hire back laid-off workers or to bring on new ones.
Discovering Canada
  • $100 million to Destination Canada for marketing campaigns to help Canadians and other visitors discover and explore the country.
  • $101 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to implement a program for the wine sector that will support wineries in adapting to ongoing and emerging challenges, in line with Canada’s trade obligations. 
There are other significant pieces outlined in the budget document that will impact our sector including Affordable Housing, Immigration, reforms to the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Labour Code, Small Business supports, and support for Parks Canada Agency.
Province Introducing Paid Leave for Workers to get COVID-19 Vaccine
The BC government has introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act that, if passed, will provide workers with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.
The amendments ensure no one will lose pay if they need time away from work to get vaccinated.
These amendments expand on the regulatory improvements made on April 1st that currently provide job-protected leave for workers to take as much time as they need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The changes to the act will allow employees to take up to three hours of paid leave to get their COVID-19 vaccine, for each dose.
Read more here
The Coalition of BC Businesses wrote Hon. Harry Bains, Minister of Labour about this issue. View the the letter here.
Updated Industry Backgrounder
BCHA has been continually acquiring industry information through our monthly pulse checks to help better advocate on your behalf.

Based on our most recent data acquired from February and March, we have update our industry backgrounder to reflect the most recent state of our industry.
The latest update shows that the industry is still in dire need for additional support and liquidity to remain solvent and continue operating.
Upcoming Webinar: BCHA & TIABC Tourism & Hospitality Industry Update
BCHA President & CEO, Ingrid Jarrett and TIABC CEO, Walt Judas will provide an update on the state of the tourism & hospitality industry.
The webinar will be 45 minutes in length with a 15 minute open forum for any questions. Please submit any questions you have here. Proudly Sponsored by Integral Services Group!
Tell Us Your Story
Deadline Extended
A growing coalition of tourism and hospitality businesses and sectors from around the province is adding its voice to a BC version of the “Hardest Hit” campaign to compel federal and provincial governments to work with our sector on a restart plan that includes the lifting of travel restrictions for immunized people and for those that have tested negative for the COVID-19 virus.
As part of our advocacy efforts, we’re aiming to collect information in the form of stories from businesses like yours to inform government on the extent of the impact that travel restrictions have had on the visitor economy since the start of the pandemic.
We encourage you to write your story using the format (template) below to a maximum of two pages. Be as candid as you feel comfortable. By telling your story, you give us permission to share the information with government. We may also call on you to tell your story through social and/or traditional media channels, as well as via industry communiques.
Please send your (maximum 2-page) summary to communications@bcha.com.
Background: Business name; location/s in BC; date established; ownership structure; # of full and/or part-time employees.
Primary Customers: Where your customers are from; demographics; who your booking partners are; what primary marketing channels you use.
Revenue Base:  State pre and post-COVID revenues (actual or range & % drop); how much longer you can afford to remain in operation; support programs you’ve applied for and either received or been rejected (state reasons for rejection).
Tourism Supply Chain: List other tourism businesses or other sectors that you work with and how your business supports these enterprises.
Government Decisions: State how federal and/or provincial government orders, directives and measures have affected your business; provide recommendations on what government can do differently or better to lessen the impact on your business.
Community Contribution: Illustrate why your business is a key part of your community and how travel restrictions have impacted you, your employees, your business in general, as well as the community you call home.
Personal Implications: Illustrate the ways the pandemic has affected you personally, professionally, mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually.