A Message from BCHA President & CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Dear Accommodation community.
 
Here we are a year into this dreadful pandemic, and we continue to find ourselves faced with issues we would never have imagined a year ago. The support you have and are providing in answering surveys and providing impact information has been immeasurably helpful to support our federal and provincial lobbying efforts. I worry at times that we are asking too much of you, and then when I read the open ended questions you have been so candid and honest in answering, I am reminded of the important role we are playing in the very survival of our industry and the responsibility we hold to ensure you, as business owners and operators receive the support measures required for yourselves and your teams. The information you provide is critical for us to influence the outcomes for support programs. We are continuing to meet with Governments to frame and detail the support measures still required, and identifying the current gaps.
 
This week has been filled with questions in all forms regarding the airport quarantine hotels. I assure you, we have been working with our provincial partners, the Hotel Association of Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada to support and ensure we mitigate the potential negative perception given this is not a hotel program, but a federal government program. The system and set up has been complex and difficult to say the least. I want to thank those of you have once again stepped forward to support the public accessing safe shelter during this pandemic. On the positive side, we are also receiving outstanding guest comments about the amazing service, food and attention to thoughtful care the hotels are providing in what could be seen as a difficult time.
 
Our team along with the TIABC team have been hard at work organising the BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference, March 8-11. The additional complimentary day on March 12 will have a series of workshops which are organised to support learning connection and resiliency for you, our industry. If you haven’t registered yet – please do so, here, if you’d like to sponsor a session, please do so by reaching out to Mike@bcha.com. We are all looking forward to seeing you at the virtual conference.
 
I’d like to acknowledge the work and partnership that Krista Bax and her team are doing on the labour front for you, our industry. We all remember the critical labour shortage we were faced with before the pandemic. Currently there is a serious need to ensure our workforce is ready to return to work when we can once again safely welcome visitors to our hotels over and above the essential services we are currently housing. In addition, that our businesses and workforce are trained and ready for the changes in service excellence, health and safety protocols and innovations that are underway for our industry.
 
The Insurance industry has been a challenge, for our industry in 2020, and it stands to continue in 2021. BCHA and our provincial partners have committed to doing an insurance analysis, SWOT and strategic plan to mitigate the enormous insurance rate increases and the risk assessments for our industry. This work will take place over the next few months, a survey that was sent earlier this month which is the beginning of the information gathering to support that work. If you have not filled out the survey, please do so here.
 
InnFocus magazine will be digital only this month, and will be sent to your inboxes in March. We look to returning to digital and hard copy for our next issue.
 
I’d like to take a moment and recognise the hard work, the resilience and the commitment our small but incredible BC Hotel Association team has for you, our industry. Your emails and phone calls are personal to us, we meet daily to ensure we are staying focused on what is most important to you, our industry. The long hours, the daily new issues, and the heartbreaking stories of the reality of the impact of the pandemic around the province fuel our resolve to do everything we can to work with governments at all levels to support our industries solvency, and to recognise the immeasurable contribution we make to our communities all over the province. As the CEO of the BC Hotel Association, I couldn’t be more proud of our team, but I also acknowledge that the stress and hardship and the impact is everywhere. This industry is a community of people who care about each other and hold each other up when needed. Although we are seeing vaccines and Covid-19 numbers reducing, there is imminent concern regarding a potentially BC or domestic only 2021. This raises the stress and fear of a longer recovery, and increased business closures. We have our sightline and focus on rebuilding our economy – and at the same time, supporting the reality of today. Our resolve is strong and laser focused. We are here for you. 
 
Stay safe, Be Well.
 
Ingrid Jarrett
BCHA President & CEO
Todays industry update includes:

  • 2021 Virtual BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference - Registration Open!
  • HAC: Susie Grynol Named Top 100 Lobbyist in Canada
  • Covid-19 Tourism Impact Survey
  • Destination British Columbia: Latest Research Indicates Drop in Canadian Sentiment Towards Travel Safety
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference
  • TIABC Free Culinary Tourism Webinars
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For any questions please reach out to our team. 
2021 BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference Registration Now Open!
#MISSIONPOSSIBLE2021
Join Us! At The 2021 BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference. March 8-11.
The conference theme is Mission Possible, a reference to the resilience and overall tenacity of our industry as we look to the future of tourism and hospitality.
 
The conference will take place Monday, March 8- Thursday, March 11. Friday, March 12 is a free day of learning workshops.
 
Enjoy presentations and workshops on a wide-range of topics from industry experts and leaders like:
·   Doug Stephens, of Retail Prophet.
·   Randy Durband, CEO for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
·   Susie Grynol, President & CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada
·   Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination Canada
·   And many many more.
 
Great value at only $99.00 per person (or $250.00 per company for up to four (4) people) for the week and $20.00 per person to join our Tuesday Craft Beer Tasting. (all prices exclusive of GST and applicable taxes) Over 24 hours of content and complimentary workshops on Friday!
Sponsorship opportunities still available, contact us at info@bctourismandhospitalityconference.com
HAC: Susie Grynol Named Top 100 Lobbyist in Canada
The pandemic may have indefinitely suspended most in-person lobbying campaigns and social engagements, but lobbyists say they’re busier than they’ve ever been.
While COVID-19 hasn’t changed the “fundamentals” of the business, for those at the top of their game, it’s driven home the need to be more attuned to the pressures facing the government, and has shown that connections with officials have to be built over time, rather than in the midst of a crisis. 

“When you’re in crisis mode, you have to be very cognizant of the pressures on the government,” said Greg MacEachern, senior vice-president of government relations at Proof Strategies. “You have to be reasonable in terms of your expectations around people’s availability and time. It’s especially true when you have ministers with multiple portfolios.” 

“There’s also been a realization that government relations should not be treated as something only for emergencies,” he added.

This year’s Top 100 Lobbyists list is a reflection of the many issues the government is wrestling with and the key players haggling over the details of its policy responses. The Hill Times reached out to more than two dozen lobbyists, including both in-house representatives and consultants, on background for input on developing this year’s list. There are also several new additions, including Pfizer Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada, which are tied to the pandemic.

Read more here.
Covid-19 Tourism Impact Survey
In collaboration with the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat, the BC Destination Marketing Organization Association, BC Hotel Association, the Tourism Industry Association of BC, and Tourism Vancouver, we are focused on rebuilding our industry. In support of this, we seek your input to help us understand the continued impacts the pandemic is having on our industry. You can view previous survey reports here: Resiliency Research

By you completing this survey, you will be aiding us in sourcing the information that is critical to support our collective work moving forward. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey before it closes on February 28th.
Destination British Columbia: Latest Research Indicates Drop in Canadian Sentiment Towards Travel Safety
Destination Canada's most recent wave of national and provincial level resident sentiment research shows that Canadian resident sentiment towards travel safety has declined across all provincial source markets. Currently, 65% of British Columbians feel safe travelling to nearby communities while 45% are comfortable with travel within the province.

In terms of out of province travel, the proportion of Alberta residents that feel safe to travel has declined to 37% from 50% previously, while the proportion of residents of Ontario that feel safe travelling out of province has declined to 32% (from 39%). In Quebec, 28% of residents feel safe travelling out of province – a significant drop from 46% previously.
It is of note that we are seeing this drop in Canadian sentiment towards safety of domestic travel even as vaccination has started across the country – perhaps due to the recent increase in new virus variants. Our consumer research shows that government and media messaging have a significant impact on Canadian’s desire to travel as well. Rebuilding consumer confidence and targeting those travellers with the greatest comfort towards travel safety (Available Travellers) will be key to re-starting the tourism economy.
For more Covid-19 related research, including the full national resident sentiment survey data, please click on the link below.
Mark Your Calendars
IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference
Registration is now open for a special 1.5-hour IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference session on March 31, 2021. Join us as we take a deeper look at tourism recovery opportunities across Canada.

More details and registration available here


March 12-31 | Various Times | Virtual
TIABC has partnered with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and the Culinary Tourism Alliance to offer free Culinary Tourism webinars in March. These webinars are supported by the Canadian Experiences Fund, in partnership with the Government of Canada.

Attracting Culinary Tourists Webinar
Friday, March 12th at 9:00am PT (10am MT)

Multisensory Experience Development Webinar
Tuesday, March 16th at 10:00am PT (11:00am MT)

Partnering For Success Webinar 
Thursday, March 18th at 9:00am PT (10:00am MT)

Growing Agritourism Webinar
Thursday, March 25th at 8:00am PT (9:00am MT)

Exceeding Expectations Webinar 
Wednesday, March 31st at 8:00am PT (9:00am MT)
COVID-19 UPDATES ONLINE AT BCHA.COM