Message from Vivek Sharma
I am very sorry and deeply regret the insensitive and inappropriate comments I made at the start of last week’s BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference. Not only did my words cause distress for several women in the audience but I also offended many other delegates.

My unacceptable remarks did not set the intended tone for the conference and consequently placed TIABC and BCHA’s board and staff in a very difficult position. I am also mindful that what I said does not reflect the views of either TIABC or BCHA, both of whom have worked hard to advocate for the tenets of equality, inclusion, and diversity in our sector. I’ve spent many years working alongside these reputable organizations to help our industry grow and flourish. As a result of my recent conduct, I have let down valued colleagues who love and care about me.

Since last Wednesday I have had multiple conversations with delegates, industry leaders and associates, as well as a time for sobering reflection on what transpired at the conference. As such, I have chosen to step down from the boards of both TIABC and BCHA effective immediately.

This decision is not to hide from my major mistake or leave the industry that I truly love, but rather to see how, through my remorse, I can use this opportunity to learn and to contribute to making the tourism and hospitality sector a safer place and one that advances the values of equality and opportunity for women, youth, Indigenous peoples, immigrants, people with disabilities and other underrepresented groups in our society.

As much as my actions caused harm, industry leaders like me have the opportunity to make amends if given the chance.

Again, I offer my sincerest and heartfelt apology for my serious indiscretion. 

Vivek Sharma,
CEO of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
Message from BCHA & TIABC

The Board of Directors for both BCHA and TIABC acknowledge the impact of last week's incident and have taken decisive action that includes wholeheartedly committing to additional steps to elevate and empower women in tourism and hospitality. We look forward to communicating these actions over the coming months. Importantly, the past few days have sparked important conversations that have forced us to confront the responsibility we each hold in creating a fair and equitable industry, free of bias. We invite you to join this conversation and connect with us.

Bryan Pilbeam |
Chair, British Columbia Hotel Association
JJ Belanger |
Chair, Tourism Industry Association of BC 
Today's update includes:

  • General Updates
  • REMINDER! | Your Action Is of CRITICAL Importance
  • BC Minimum Wage Increasing
  • ICYMI | Updates to Provincial Restrictions
  • B.C. Launches Plan to Revitalize Tourism, Creating Opportunities for People
  • Post a Job on the go2HR Job Board
  • Reminder | Driving Female Success - Royal Roads University Survey for Female Executives
  • STR Weekly Highlights | Week of Mar 6
  • Important Reminder | Survey on Hospitality Sector Supply Chain Needs
  • TIAC | Survey on Sector Needs for Recovery
  • GoGreen | Tip Of the Week
  • Accessible Employers Guide to Measure Disability Inclusion in Your Workplace
  • News - See more below!
  • Hot Off the Press
  • BC | Canada News
  • World News
  • Industry Trends
  • Tipping Our Hat to Industry!
  • Congratulations to the Winners of the 2022 BC Tourism and Hospitality Awards!
  • Hotel Association of Canada President & CEO, Susie Grynol, has been named a top 100 lobbyist in Canada by the Hill Times!
  • Mark Your Calendars - see below!
  • Comment Card | Thoughts and Comments from Our Industry
  • Last Laugh | A Little Something to Make Our Members Smile
IMPORTANT | Your Action Is
of CRITICAL Importance
If our industry wants to secure more financial support, we need to fight for it TODAY. The most important thing you can do is call your MP or send a direct email. The next 48 hours are critical.
The following video, highlights our campaign, our ask, and how you can support over these next very critical days:

We Ask That You Do The Following:
  1. Request & Hold a Meeting with your Member of Parliament
  2. Share HAC’s Roadmap to Recovery [fr] with your Member of Parliament during your meeting
  3. Send a quick-action letter that you can send to your Member of Parliament in a few simple clicks
  4. Amplify this message with pre-written social media posts

BC Minimum Wage Increasing
Effective June 1, 2022 B.C’s lowest-paid workers will get a pay boost, with the general minimum wage increasing from $15.20 to $15.65 an hour.
The upcoming minimum wage increase to $15.65 an hour is the first one to be tied to British Columbia’s average annual inflation rate. This year’s rate is 2.8% and was calculated from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021. This is consistent with the approach taken in other jurisdictions where minimum wage is tied to inflation.
As of June 1, an increase of 2.8% will also apply to the live-in camp leader and live-in home support worker minimum daily wages; and resident caretaker minimum monthly wage.
ICYMI | Updates to Provincial Restrictions
Last week, it was announced that because of B.C.'s lowered hospitalization and transmission rates, these activities can return to normal:
  • masks no longer required in public indoor settings under a public health order;
  • no restrictions on worship service capacity;
  • overnight camps for children and youth are allowed.
  • By March 18, there will be no visitor limits at long-term care and seniors' assisted living facilities.
  • When K to 12 schools return from spring break, masks will no longer be required for students, staff and visitors.

On April 8, 2022 at 12:01 am, further restrictions will be lifted:
  • proof of vaccination will no longer be required to access businesses, events and services;
  • businesses will no longer need a COVID-19 safety plan but must follow communicable disease guidance from WorkSafeBC;
  • proof of vaccination will no longer be required for post-secondary student housing.
B.C. Launches Plan to Revitalize Tourism, Creating Opportunities for People
B.C. has launched a new three-year roadmap for rebuilding and revitalizing tourism, creating jobs and opportunities for people and communities in every part of the province.
The renewed Strategic Framework for Tourism responds to the call to action from the sector to support its recovery from COVID-19. It outlines a roadmap for a more resilient tourism sector by rebuilding to 2019 levels by 2024.
Requested by B.C.’s tourism industry leaders and the Tourism Task Force, the update of this framework focuses on provincial priorities of putting people first; lasting and meaningful reconciliation; equity and anti-racism; a better future through fighting climate change; and a strong, sustainable economy that works for everyone.
To continue to support tourism businesses in B.C. to come back stronger, the Province is investing $1 million toward investments in event-bid preparation and sponsorships to attract large-scale arts, culture, and sport events, and public conferences and exhibitions. Investing now in event programs will kick-start the events industry’s recovery and will position B.C. as a safe, world-class, event-hosting jurisdiction once again.
The Tourism Task Force emphasized how challenging it has been for industry to find the skilled workers it needs. This is why government is investing a further $2 million for post-secondary education and training to support B.C. students who enrol in tourism and hospitality certificate, diploma or degree programs, tourism-related apprenticeships, and trades training and development programs. This program, will prioritize students who are Indigenous, immigrant, or refugee applicants, as well as those from rural or remote locations, and people with accessibility needs.
As part of the Province’s continuing tourism recovery initiatives, government has committed $6 million this year through 2024 for Destination BC to market B.C. as a destination of choice in the highly competitive international market.
Post a Job on the go2HR Job Board
The go2HR job board is free for tourism and hospitality employers operating in British Columbia. Post jobs and hiring events to find quality employees in Accommodation, Food and Beverage Services, Recreation and Entertainment, Transportation, and Travel Services.
The go2HR Job Board receives 20,000 monthly visits from qualified candidates looking for front-line, supervisory, management or executive positions.
Reminder | Driving Female Success - Royal Roads University Survey for Female Executives
The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Royal Roads University is collecting data to to discover how women in executive leadership roles, specifically in the hospitality and tourism sectors, have successfully obtained top positions. They invite you to describe your experiences as a leader in the tourism and hospitality industry in the following survey, designed using the appreciative inquiry model. The survey has 17 questions, 11 of which are open-ended. It should take you approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Upon completing this research, the objective is to submit a peer-reviewed journal article to share with current industry professionals and graduate students looking for more guidance and successful leadership pathways. 

Help pave the way for future generations and take the survey today!
STR Weekly Highlights | Week of Mar 6
Domestic Overnight Visitors Week Ending March 6 Highlights:
  • Average Domestic Overnight Visitation to BC for Week 9 (Feb 28 - Mar 06, 2022) is up 0.1% compared to the same week in 2019
  • When comparing Week 8 (Feb 21 - Feb 27, 2022) to Week 9 (Feb 28 - Mar 06, 2022). Kootenay Rockies, Vancouver Island, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, and Northern BC saw an increase in visitation. Thompson Okanagan, Vancouver Coast & Mountains, and Kootenay Rockies saw a decrease.
  • British Columbia decreased 13.5% when comparing Week 8 (Feb 21 - Feb 27, 2022) to Week 9 (Feb 28 - Mar 06, 2022)
STR Report Highlights Week Ending March 5:
  • British Columbia had a 54.0% occupancy from Sunday-Thursday and a 67.2% occupancy during the weekend, down -15.3% compared to the same week in 2019.
  • British Columbia had an ADR of $170.70 from Sunday-Thursday and an ADR of $187.43 during the weekend, down -2.2% compared to the same week in 2019.
  • British Columbia had a RevPAR of $92.15 from Sunday-Thursday and a RevPAR of $125.91 during the weekend, down -17.1% compared to the same week in 2019.
Regional STATS the Weekend of March 5-6 2022:
  • Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: OCC 60.4% ADR $138.41 REVPAR $83.60
  • Kootenay Rockies: OCC 60.7% ADR $141.51 REVPAR $85.84
  • Northern BC: OCC 55.6% ADR $122.77 REVPAR $68.29
  • North Thompson Okanagan: OCC 72.9% ADR $174.07 REVPAR $126.85
  • Vancouver Island: OCC 70.6% ADR $176.88 REVPAR $124.89
  • Vancouver: OCC 69.3% ADR $176.33 REVPAR $122.16
  • Whistler: OCC 87.7% ADR $521.30 REVPAR $457.04
Important Reminder | Survey on Hospitality Sector Supply Chain Needs
To our industry members, we ask that you take a few moments of your time to complete an important survey.

The aim of the survey is to identify which issues are currently impacting the supply chain and to understand issues that you see will impact the future of hotel operations.
Hotels are rapidly evolving as a result of the pandemic. We want to make sure we identify supply chain issues. We also want to be forward looking to be aware of future growth areas, so that we can help push to secure new partners to support our changing needs.
TIAC | Survey on Sector Needs for Recovery
Algonquin College’s School of Business is conducting a research project on behalf of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). We want to know what TIAC members think is needed for the full recovery of the industry and what your thoughts are on emerging travel trends.
The research team, led by Professor Nathaniel Stone of the business school, hopes to identify the expectations of visitors as the pandemic lingers on, the regions of the tourism market that may be first to rebound, the international markets that may be the first to return, and more.
Share your thoughts and support the recovery of the industry with your feedback today! 

Deadline | March 28
GoGreen | Tip Of the Week
Organizations measure what they want to improve, so if hiring people with disabilities is a priority for you as an employer, measuring disability is a key place to start.
The Make it Count: Measuring for Disability Inclusion in Your Workplace is a practical guide for employers looking to measure the rate of disability in their workplaces.
Download a free copy of the Make it Count Guide to create a disability measurement initiative that fits the unique context of your organization.
Industry News & Quick Links
Tipping Our Hat to Industry
Have news to share? Email
Congratulations to the Winners of the 2022 BC Tourism and Hospitality Awards!

The British Columbia Hotel Association and Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) are delighted to share the winners of the 2022 BC Tourism and Hospitality Awards!

During the awards gala evening, presented by Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC), nine awards were given out that recognize and celebrate excellence within British Columbia's tourism & hospitality industry. We acknowledge and salute all finalists for their outstanding contribution, remarkable leadership, and for collectively raising the bar for our industry.

Please join us in congratulating
  • Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association - winner of the Accessibility Award
  • Teara Fraser | Founder and Lead Executive, Iskwew Air - winner of the Businesswoman of the Year Award
  • British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network - winner of the Community Contribution & Impact Award
  • Accent Inns & Hotel Zed - winner of the Employees First Award
  • David R. (Rooper) | General Manager, Old House Hotel & Spa - winner of Hotelier of the Year
  • Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre - winner of the Indigenous Operator of the Year Award
  • Malahat SkyWalk - winner of the Innovation Award
  • Tourism Revelstoke - winner of the Professional Excellence (DMO) Award
  • Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort - winner of the Sustainability Award

We look forward to sharing a complete update on our BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference tomorrow!
Hotel Association of Canada President & CEO, Susie Grynol, has been named a top 100 lobbyist in Canada by the Hill Times!
According to the Hill Times the list is generated based on “lobbyists’ reputation, profile on the Hill, perceived influence, and effectiveness, as judged by their peers, which play into considerations on who should make the cut."

There are more than 5,000 lobbyists currently on the federal registry. The ranks of policy experts, influencers and advocates run deep in Ottawa. This list represents those who stand out for delivering results on Parliament Hill.
“I am honoured to be named alongside this elite group of extremely impressive and accomplished lobbyists. For me, this recognition is a reflection of the work of my team and our incredible industry coming together in its fight for survival,” said Grynol.

Please join us in congratulating Susie on this achievement!
Mark Your Calendars
May 8, 2022 – May 11, 2022

IMPACT is a collaborative national dialogue on innovation. The dream to create a legacy for sustainable and regenerative tourism in Canada is stronger than ever, and your voices are needed.
Join in on a national conversation on sustainable tourism, as delegates and speakers explore and compare models for tourism recovery. Hear from some of the most creative and innovative experts in the business and address our new reality of higher expectations, for and of visitors.
2022 Annual BC Economic Summit
Date: April 3rd 1:30 PM  to April 5th 2:30 PM

The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) is presenting its 2022 Annual BC Economic Summit in a virtual format with the theme of Reconciliation and Resiliency - A Future for BC. This is an opportunity to highlight success stories, lessons learned, share cutting-edge ideas, and engage your colleagues at the premier event for economic development practitioners in British Columbia.
Click here to learn more and to register.
Canadian Hotel Investment Conference
Date:April 5-6, 2022
Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
Register Now! Vancouver Island Tourism Conference 2022
April 12 - 14, 2022

Tourism stakeholders in the Vancouver Island region are invited to attend the in-person return of the annual Vancouver Island Tourism Conference, powered by Tourism Vancouver Island. It will be held April 12-14, 2022 in Victoria, B.C. at the Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. This year’s conference will focus on Mindful Travel: The health of our environment; The health of our industry; The health of our people. The early bird rate is $375 until February 11th (Regular rate is $475 until March 28th). Learn more and register here.

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Last Laugh