A Message from BCHA President & CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Good Afternoon Hotel and Accommodation Community,
As current travel restrictions continue to impact your top and bottom line, it is important I communicate the work we are doing, and who we are working with, to bring you some confidence that you are not alone in your challenges and fiscal hardship, and that we are on the right path forward. We are looking ahead strategically – provincially, nationally, and internationally – and are determined to get the reopening plan underway. 

The BC Business Coalition released a press release regarding new measures surrounding paid sick leave introduced this week. We are aligned with our business colleagues from other sectors on the need to advocate for:
  • Federal EI restrictions for sick pay to be extended during the pandemic instead of a new provincial program being introduced
  • That the fiscal burden not be placed on businesses to fund this paid sick leave should it pass
  • To ensure that the pandemic does not pave the way for a permanent sick pay burden for businesses in the new year, which is currently being planned by the Minister of Labour.

As businesses are currently under crippling financial pressure, the timing could not be worse for additional costs. The employees in the hospitality and tourism industry have never been more precious than they are now – and we all want our teams back together, in a safe and healthy way, without additional financial burden for our operators. The consultation will take place this fall and we encourage all of you to speak with your MLA and make your voice heard.

The occupancy in the province since the restrictions on essential travel were placed in April has dropped like a stone. Whistler is currently sitting at less than 5% occupancy, Nanaimo less than 15%. These numbers are alarming given that hotels have already lost millions of dollars in potential revenue over the past 14 months. The caution for rebooking travel and vacations for June and the rest of the year is extremely concerning. Destinations are literally seeing zero demand for bookings, even though federally and provincially our governments have referenced the one dose summer.

As soon as the restrictions are lifted, we need messaging from trusted officials that travel is safe, and is recommended by our Provincial Health Officer and government, along with a reopening plan which we continue to advocate for. Similarly, our industry counterparts in meeting and events, sports, culture, arts and festivals have all submitted safe reopening strategies and plans. It is critical the government pivot messaging to encourage travel and activities like safe meetings once the restrictions are lifted. 

We continue to work hard on your behalf. Over the next three months, many of our members will receive their annual or monthly invoices for membership dues. It is our commitment to ensure that we determine a payment plan that will support your needs and help you during this extremely difficult time. We are also moving to an automated system and will be in touch to ensure the correct contact information supports a seamless transition. 

We are deeply grateful for the kind words, emails, phone calls and accolades for the work we are doing on your behalf. Our resolve is unwavering. We have much work to do both federally and provincially before we can see this pandemic in the rear view mirror. 
Stay safe,
Ingrid Jarrett
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association 
Today's update includes:
  • Property Insurance Update
  • Province Responds to Letter on Restart
  • Coalition of BC Businesses Supports COVID Sick Leave
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • BC Hotel Sector Transaction Market Outlook presented by HVS and Colliers
  • Webinar Recording: BCHA with The Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
  • State of the Industry: April Update
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • TIAC's Tourism Town Hall
  • John Furlong, Vision and Inspiration for Today's Service Industry
  • New B SAFE training for BC's tourism and hospitality industry
  • TOTA Business Building In The Face Of COVID
  • Canadian Hotel Investment Conference
Property Insurance Update
Over recent weeks, the BC Hotel Association has participated in several presentations and analysis of the insurance market, a strategic session, and an analysis of the hotel pooled insurance program we currently have in place. The goal of this work is to look at the last 10 years and determine:

  • What has worked and not worked
  • The changes in the market
  • The current and future trends for insurance for our sector
  • Next steps for communications and training for properties to understand the inclusions, risks and benefits of mitigating risk through preventive maintenance

We will be updating you as the analysis and results are provided. The BCHA offers preventive maintenance programs and best practises on our website, and we encourage operators to use them, in order to show the work you do to mitigate risk.
Province Responds to Letter on Restart
BCHA & TIABC wrote to Premier Horgan last month with a request to collaborate on creating a restart plan for the tourism industry. Earlier this week, we received a letter from the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport, Hon. Melanie Mark responding to our recommendations.
"Despite the progression of our vaccination plan, transmission rates remain too high to confirm a restart plan at this time, and our immediate focus must continue to be on efforts to reduce cases and outbreaks. As Dr. Henry emphasized, the best thing we can do as an industry is to keep working together to reduce the risk of transmission until vaccination rates increase. 
We are anticipating that we will be developing a safe restart plan towards the end of May, and over the next several weeks, will have further engagement and dialogue with industry to inform this work. Specifically, our aim is to use the Tourism Advisory Table as a forum for discussion on restart planning." 
View Minister Mark response letter here.
Coalition of BC Businesses Supports COVID Sick Leave
As part of the BC Business Coalition, BCHA has co-signed the release below in support of COVID sick pay without industry bearing the cost.

"The Coalition of BC Businesses is in favour of a temporary sick leave program that supports workers and helps maintain a safe workplace, but companies should not be asked to shoulder the financial burden resulting from a public health pandemic."
Upcoming Webinar

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.
Webinar Recording: BCHA with The Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
Thank you to those who joined us Tuesday for our webinar on Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant Program 

The March pulse check indicated that 47% of you, our industry, do not qualify for the small and medium sized business grant. You also provided significant feedback about the grant process and restrictions. We have been working hard to ensure the access is streamlined and that you have the information required. The parameters for the grant eligibility have been changed several times, and therefore we hosted this webinar to ensure you can ask the questions and provide the feedback directly. 
Hosted by Liz Vickery. Liz is the Executive Director and leading the implementation of the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery and Circuit Breaker Business Relief grants.
State of the Industry: April Update
We continue to lean on your experience and input to help guide understand the impact of recent travel restrictions to help us advocate on your behalf. This past month has been exceptionally challenging for our industry and we thank you for providing your insight to help us gather information.
Mark Your Calendars
TIAC’s Tourism Town Hall series is an event partnership between the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Destination Canada, and the local host partners.
Town Halls allow tourism operators to provide first-hand input on issues affecting their business and the tourism industry in this time of COVID and provide feedback on government policy for the recovery and rebuilding of our sector.

Register now for a Town Hall in your province!
British Columbia – Thursday, May 27

John Furlong, Vision and Inspiration for Today's Service Industry
This event is intended specifically for Private Club staff (ideally hourly heart of house and front of house team members).
Friday May 21,10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST) – no registration required, simply visit, www.ohboy.ca/tcc
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.

Business Building In The Face Of COVID
10 Steps To Take Now For Short And Long-Term Success

In a time of great uncertainty, how can tourism & hospitality business operators plan ahead, prepare for the summer season, and take advantage of the available resources? During this free webinar including time for Q&A with Professor Mark Ziebarth of Okanagan College, you will learn 10 steps to take now to plan ahead for short and long-term business success.
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! 
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