A Message From President and CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Dear Accommodation Community and Stakeholders,

Another week at the helm of the BC Hotel Association, in the midst of the worst crisis our industry has faced in history. 

Today, we co-hosted a webinar in partnership with the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation to ensure that the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant and Circuit Breaker funds are applied for and received. Although, we know that limitations surrounding these funds leave many of you ineligible—including new businesses, businesses closed for renovation in 2019, and businesses with ownership outside of BC—we also understand that the amount of the relief funds is a fraction of what is needed to survive. However, for many small businesses these relief funds are a life line. We will continue to push for changes to the barriers to relief.

Next week we are co hosting a webinar with HVS and Colliers that will address the state of the industry, property valuation, and what the future may hold; this is directly at the request of many accommodation buyers/sellers. 

Today, we received updated bookings links for the Coastal and Fraser Health Regions for priority vaccinations for hotels employees, the links and information to register is below. Please encourage all your employees to register as soon as possible. The vaccination rates are sure to be a key measurement in the timing for reopening along with the reduced COVID-19 numbers in the province.

Now, the single most important piece of work we are doing is around the timing of a reopening plan as we look to see travel restrictions lift. I have attached a letter from the Premier and Minister of Tourism Arts, Culture & Sport which I received today, which is in response to a joint letter I sent with Walt Judas, CEO of TIABC last month. We have had several meetings with the Ministry and the Premier to discuss the needs of the industry and are committed to working together on behalf of each of you to ensure we have predictable set benchmarks to work towards. I continue to reiterate the importance of knowing ahead of time what to expect, which includes that timeline surrounding current travel restrictions, currently due to end May 25th. Thankfully, the number of vaccinations administered are going up while the number of COVID-19 cases are going down. Dr. Theresa Tam for the first time used the 75% vaccination number federally for a reopening conversation, and the Prime Minister this morning spoke to the one dose summer season for Canadians. 

We have witnessed provinces and territories like Saskatchewan, the Yukon, and Nova Scotia all state opening timelines; our ask of our government is to follow suit and outline specific benchmarks, similar to what we saw in 2020, which will enable businesses all over the province to work towards the phased reopening plan. This strategic plan is now more essential than ever given the dire fiscal circumstances that many businesses have faced – we are now in month 14 of losses, which is almost impossible to comprehend.

The rehiring and training of employees holds a significant fiscal burden at a time when capital to spend is simply not available; this is why the new program announced by the federal government for (CHRP) for hiring unemployed Canadians will augment the CEWS as it winds down over the next four months. If your revenue loss year over year remains 70% or more, the CEWS will continue to be your best relief measure, and if you are anticipating any volume of business similar to last year, then the rehiring relief will be your greatest relief measure. 

Furthermore, today the government also announced a paid sick leave program, where employers will have to cover three days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19. The Province will reimburse employers without an existing sick leave program up to $200 per day for each worker. We recognize the imminent hardship and burden it will add to small and medium sized businesses. Similarly, we are concerned about the implications this will have long-term and are advocating for a change in the EI program to support employees in all sectors for sick leave. Placing any additional fiscal burden for sick pay on the businesses community is untenable. 

Finally, thank you to those of you who responded to the HAC HASCAP survey sent on Friday, we have escalated many of the cases on your behalf as you have reached out to us for assistance. We continue to meet with the federal government on the continuation and the barriers to access, and now also are working directly with the CDB to ensure those of you who should be eligible are eligible. 

Stay safe,

Ingrid Jarrett
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association
Today's update includes:
  • Important Updates to Vaccine ProgramFrontline Hotel Workers in both Fraser and Coastal Health Regions Now Eligible for First Dose of Vaccine 
  • A Collaborative Plan to Re-launch Tourism in BC: A Request to Premier Horgan
  • Upcoming Webinars 
  • Labour Force Survey Data Shows Tourism Unemployment Still High
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • In the News
COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave in BC
This morning, government announced a new COVID-19 paid sick leave program "that will support workers to stay home when they are sick during the pandemic and afterward, including permanent paid sick leave, as a result of legislation tabled Tuesday, May 11, 2021."

Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will bring in three days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19, such as having symptoms, self-isolating, and waiting for a test result. 

Employers will be required to pay workers their full wages and the Province will reimburse employers without an existing sick leave program up to $200 per day for each worker to cover costs. Full and part-time workers are eligible to take this leave.

Under the proposed legislation, when a worker requests to take this leave, an employer could ask for reasonably sufficient proof, although no doctor's note is required. 

Three days of paid sick leave will be effective from the date of royal assent to December 31, 2021.

The legislation will also create a permanent paid sick leave for workers who cannot work due to any illness or injury beginning January 1, 2022. The number of paid sick days and other supports will be determined following consultations with the business community, labour organizations, Indigenous partners and other stakeholders.

Government says the short-term paid sick leave related to COVID-19 will bridge the gap for workers between when they first feel sick and when they can access the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit. BC’s COVID-19 paid sick leave will continue to protect workers longer - to December 31, 2021.

To support this leave, WorkSafeBC will set up and, beginning next month, administer the employer reimbursement program on behalf of the Province. This will include reimbursing employers up to $200 per day per worker. For the small percentage of employers that have a highly paid workforce, but do not already have paid sick leave, those employers will be required to cover any remaining wages owed above $200 for each COVID-19 sick day taken.

For more information:
Frontline Hotel Workers in both Fraser AND Coastal Health Regions Now Eligible for First Dose of Vaccine
Frontline staff working within the hotel industry in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, who have not already received their first vaccination, are now eligible to receive their first dose of the vaccine. 

Please note, we have been informed that that the link for the Fraser Health booking site that we were provided with and sent yesterday was incorrect - See below for updated booking information.


If you have registered and experience difficulty booking, please call 1-833-838-2323 (open 7a.m. to 7p.m.) for assistance. If you do not see appointments available immediately, please check back often as new appointments will be added.

  • STEP 1: Register
  • To register, go to: https://www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/s/?variant=frontline
  • On the registration page, enter your personal and contact information and the following access code: 30007253663 *Please note: you will not be able to register without the access code.
  • Upon successful registration, you will receive a confirmation number followed by a text or e-mail within 24 hours with a unique link for booking your vaccination.
  • STEP 2: Book
  • Use the link provided in your text or e-mail to visit the online booking page.
  • In the online booking process, select from a list of all the priority clinics available.
  • Book your appointment.

This registration site is intended only for identified frontline workers. By choosing to register through this service, you are acknowledging that you have received this code from your employer.

At this time, second doses are being offered 16 weeks from the first dose based on provincial and national recommendations. Data from jurisdictions around the world shows one dose of vaccine provides a high level of protection. Once every eligible person in B.C. has been offered vaccine, the interval between doses may be shortened. Please retain your paper record of immunization to bring back to the clinic when it time for their second dose. 

  • Please arrive no more than 15 minutes before your appointment.
  • mRNA vaccine will be available at this clinic: either Pfizer or Moderna. A choice will not be offered.
  • Please bring:
  • your driver’s license (or other government issued photo ID)
  • Personal Health Number/BC Services Card, if you have one
  • This vaccine is recommended for those aged 18 and up.
  • Please do not attend the clinic if you are feeling unwell, experiencing COVID-like symptoms, or if you have been asked by Public Health to self-isolate.
  • Wear short sleeves and a mask.
  • After you receive your vaccination, please plan to stay on site for 15 minutes to ensure you experience no adverse effects, such as an allergic reaction.
Important reminder: Provincial orders and guidelines remain in place for everyone, even if you have received the vaccine.

For more information, please visit VCH.ca.


First Dose Registration and Booking:

  1. Visit the provincial vaccination website: https://www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/s/?variant=frontline**UPDATED LINK** 
  2. Follow the registration instructions. Employees will need the following information:
  • Full Name
  • Personal Health Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Postal Code
  • Home Address
  • Email or cell phone to send booking invitation
  • Access Code*
3. Frontline worker group the access code is: 20008107336 (for Fraser Health frontline hotel workers only)
4. Once you are registered, you will receive an email or text notification with a link to proceed with booking an appointment
5. Click on the link provided and follow the booking instructions (vaccination appointments are available at specific COVID-19 Immunization Centres in the Fraser Health region).
This registration site is intended only for identified frontline workers. By choosing to register through this service, you are acknowledging that you have received this code from your employer. This letter, link and code are not transferrable. If the code is misused, it will be cancelled and the ability to continue with the vaccination through this program may be compromised. Anyone booking an appointment who is not an eligible member of this priority group will be turned away at the clinic.
Learn more here.
A Collaborative Plan to Re-launch Tourism in BC: A Request to Premier Horgan
Last month, TIABC and the BC Hotel Association (BCHA) wrote to Premier Horgan regarding the need to look ahead to the work that comes next.
As outlined in the letter, TIABC and the BCHA represent a broad, province-wide coalition of employers and associations ready to collaborate with the provincial government on the re-opening of the sector. Together we can ensure that a thriving tourism industry benefits communities and businesses across British Columbia. However, there are significant challenges being faced by our industry:
  • Employers who make up the sector are currently making hiring, leasing, marketing, borrowing and other critical financial decisions that could make or break their businesses and therefore the sector; they are doing so absent of information and continued certainty
  • National and international tour companies are already indicating they need to see a broad restart plan for them to book tours to British Columbia in 2021 and 2022
  • Without a plan, the sector will have difficulty planning, making informed decisions, and will be unsure how to adapt to future changes; while a plan is not a guarantee of future circumstances, it does form a critical base for decision making for when change occurs
The 3-page letter outlines the request for a collaborative plan to re-launch tourism in BC. Premier Horgan responded with phone calls to both TIABC's Walt Judas and BCHA's Ingrid Jarrett. The Province has also been meeting with a broader Tourism Advisory Committee for input on travel orders, recovery and other initiatives including restart. Further details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Upcoming Webinars

Due to the number of inquiries about buying and selling hotels and accommodation properties in the province, we will be presenting a webinar in partnership with HVS and Colliers on the market outlook, state of the industry in BC, and potential for recovery.

Carrie and Russell will come together to discuss the current state of the hospitality industry in BC. They will take a look at the historical and projected operating statistics, the transaction market, and discuss the outlook for the industry as we move through this crisis to better days ahead.
The webinar will be 45 minutes in length with a 15 minute open forum for any questions. Please submit any questions you have with your registration.

Hosted by Carrie Russell, HVS and Russell Beaudry, Colliers.
Labour Force Survey Data Shows Tourism Unemployment Still High
The seasonally adjusted data shows employment across all industries—not just tourism—dropping by 207,000. The unadjusted data shows a drop of “only” 73,700. This is noteworthy because the gap between adjusted and unadjusted data is particularly large this month. Usually, employment starts to increase in the spring as business begin to prepare for the summer. Because the usual trend at this time of year is an employment increase, any decrease is going to be significantly amplified when seasonal adjustments are applied. This is something to keep in mind when reading the headlines in the news.
That said, employment across all industries fell by 73,700. Tourism employment fell by 68,900, a decrease of 4.4% from March. The tourism sector accounted for 93.5% of employment losses. Every tourism industry group saw employment decrease. Travel services was hit particularly hard this month. Employment in that industry group dropped by 24.0%.
Despite the drop in employment, the tourism sector unemployment rate actually declined. This was driven by declining unemployment rates in the food and beverage and travel services industry. This seems counter intuitive but it tells us that former workers were not actively seeking new employment during the month of April. Considering current lockdown conditions, that is fairly understandable. 
We have received significant information from you, our industry regarding the barriers and disappointing results from the HASCAP application process and ability to access the funds. It is critical that we have the information to do our advocacy work with our provincial and federal governments with our partners at the hotel association of Canada, Restaurants Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey below.
Mark Your Calendars
New B SAFE training for BC's tourism and hospitality industry

B SAFE is a new 90-minute, online course oriented toward staff in BC’s tourism and hospitality industry. The training aims to provide staff with a strong foundation in COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and to assist them in understanding ever-evolving best practices. Upon successful completion of the course, participants are awarded a certificate that demonstrates their knowledge of and commitment to COVID-19 health and safety. go2HR's objective is for B SAFE to become an industry standard: a recognizable indicator of the extent to which health and safety is a priority for BC’s tourism and hospitality employers. B SAFE stands for BC Safety Assured For Everyone Supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, B SAFE aims to build community and staff confidence in the health and safety protocols of BC’s tourism and hospitality industry as the province navigates and emerges from the COVID-19 era.

Save the date!

The Canadian Hotel Investment Conference will be celebrating it's 25th anniversary this June. Mark your calendars for our virtual CHIC June 22nd and 23rd.
Registration will open next week where we will announce our keynote speakers and sessions. 
Are you interested in sponsoring? Please contact Stephanie for further details. 
This is a milestone event you will not want to miss! 
TIABC Presents FREE Industry Webinar: Behaviour-Smart Thinking for the Travel Industry
How a behavioural perspective can help accelerate the travel industry’s recovery towards the post-COVID-19 New Normal
Tuesday May 19th, 2021 9:00am PDT
This session is free, but participants are asked to register here
TIABC is proud to host this session that will offer ideas on how behaviour-smart thinking can enhance our understanding for and ability to address the complex challenges faced by the contemporary tourism industry. Behaviour-smart thinking is inspired by behavioural economics, a fast-growing knowledge domain that uses insights from psychology to explain phenomena across different socio-economic contexts (from why people make the wrong decisions about their health and finances to why they fail to be responsible to the environment even when they truly value nature.)
HAC & CBRE Present Breaking News Webinar
CBRE Hotels will present HAC Members with selected major market forecasts for 2021 and national recovery outlook for 2021-2025.

DATE: MONDAY, MAY 17, 2020
TIME: 10:00 A.M. PST

In the News
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COVID-19 sick pay: B.C. giving all workers up to 3 days...

British Columbia will give all workers up to three days of paid sick leave to support those affected by COVID-19.

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Ingrid Jarrett: Compliance with travel restrictions...

Opinion: Hotel and tourism operators need the public to closely follow travel restrictions to protect residents and see some travel return for summer - a critical factor in the survival of businesses across B.C.

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COVID-19 sick pay: B.C. giving all workers up to 3 days...

British Columbia will give all workers up to three days of paid sick leave to support those affected by COVID-19.

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