Dear Accommodation Community,
It has been a busy week for our BC Hotel Association team. Working hand in hand with the Hotel Association of Canada and our Provincial counterparts on the workability of the returning Canadian’s isolation strategy, which is meant to dissuade people from travelling out of the country during spring break. The applications are now closed, and the details of process are being disseminated between now and March 22. Throughout the pandemic, Canada’s hotels answered the call of public health. Whether it was to provide housing to front-line workers, shelter for the homeless, or to provide a safe place for Canadians to self-isolate away from family. Today, we are once again answering the call to support stricter border measures by providing quarantine facilities for arriving non-essential travelers awaiting a PCR test result.
While hotels will do their best to provide a comfortable experience, 3 day quarantine guests should arrive expecting restricted amenities, contactless food delivering, on site security, limited housekeeping while rooms are occupied and additional safety measures.
The priority for hotel operators is the safety of guests, staff and Canadians. Hotels have always had rigorous standards for cleaning and safety. During COVID, hotels further enhanced cleaning practices and workplace protocols implementing guidance by public health authorities, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC). Our members will continue to implement best practices put forward by public health experts to manage through this new 3 day quarantine requirement.
This new program will involve a small number of hotels located near the Vancouver International Airport. The cost of each stay will vary between hotels, with additional fees required to cover specific quarantine measures like augmented security, food and beverage and transportation.
This is a difficult time. Non-essential travelers awaiting their PCR test result may feel stress while they are guests in a hotel. We trust that every Canadian will give our staff their patience and respect. We are helping to protect Canadians by answering the call of our leaders and public health experts. We thank the hotels who have answered the call to support this federal initiative.
Many of you took the time earlier this week to provide feedback regarding the barriers you are experiencing trying to access government relief measures. Your responses outline many of the remaining gaps in relief and the degree of suffering our industry is enduring due to the structure of the relief programs from both federal and provincial governments. Although the facts are dire, it is invaluable to have your voices and stories of impact to highlight with government advocacy.
Property taxes, fixed costs, and energy costs remain on the top of the priority list of provincial government support needed. The outlook without this support is grim for many businesses across BC. The extension of CEWS is the #1 federal relief confirmed.
The recent news of cruise cancellations until 2022 adds devastation to our urban centers. The impact of cruise extends to hundreds of small and medium size businesses such as retail, restaurants, hotels and many additional sectors.
We worked hand in hand over the past few weeks with our partners at TIABC to develop a hotels centric video to promote safe travel and educate our citizens and travelers alike on the steps we have taken to ensure people once again travel in our fair province. The link to the video is below – please share it on social and your networks. We have also included the Destination Canada Sentiment report for your information, as we look towards 2021 and safe travel once again, growing consumer sentiment and travel sentiment is a big part of our jobs. I look forward to the day when we can once again joyfully travel in Canada and abroad – until then we will continue to do our best to support you, advocate for you and champion you.
Its our family day long weekend – we wish you time together with your families to enjoy the record snowfall, and the great outdoors. The Dine around promotion is happening all over our fair province, find out more information here.
I urge you to support your local neighbourhood pub, or favorite restaurant, and we have Valentines day as well! Again, please support your hotels for a staycation with your loved one, or family, a lovely dinner with your family or a take out lunch or dinner over the long weekend. Our industry needs your support. Enjoy!
BCHA President & CEO