A Message from BCHA President & CEO Ingrid Jarrett
Good Afternoon Hotel and Accommodation Community,
 
In response to the devastation felt by tourism operators due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this morning, Premier John Horgan and Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Art and Sport, announced that up to $50 million has been earmarked to support tourism attractions across the province. Applications for the grants are open today, May 18, until June 7, with funds expected to reach tourism businesses in July 2021.

During the press conference, Melanie Mark stated that "the pandemic has illuminated how important anchor attractions and tour bus companies are to our communities and our tourism ecosystem." While it is very disappointing our accommodation community was not acknowledged in this round of support, we recognize the interconnectedness of our hospitality and tourism ecosystem and are thankful that our large attractions are receiving the support they need—quite simply, their survival means our survival.

See additional information on the announcement here:
As noted by the question and answer period of today's press conference, pressure is mounting for the government to launch a restart plan. We have been working with a collection of tourism operators and leaders through the BC Tourism Coalition and the Tourism Ministers Round Table. I would like to acknowledge the considerable amount of work that has gone into amplifying our collective objective for a safe and strategic reopening that will enable our operators to better prepare for the months ahead. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves alongside our industry experts and working hand-in-hand to ensure we recover together when the restrictions are lifted. One of the most critical pieces of work will be the communications plan which will be developed at the same time for all voices to support the recovery of our vital sector. This will require a significant work in a short time frame—but I know we are up for the task.
 
Today I leave you with some uplifting news surrounding travel. The US hotel market is seeing occupancies of 50% mid week and 70% on the weekends, which shows a resurgence of past travel trends and demand growth. In addition, the UK is testing group gatherings, concerts, sporting events and conventions which we will watch closely for impact. Today we also hosted a webinar with HVS and Colliers, and it was indeed good news that hotel values are holding, and recovery is on the horizon—the sight line is that we will be back to 2019 numbers by 2024. 

Finally, this week the BC ski industry held a ski show in Australia, in partnership with Destination British Columbia (DBC), which was attended by over 9,000 delegates. Other countries at the show included USA, Austria, Canada, and Japan. This is an encouraging sign for the ski industry and for winter demand (albeit for the 2022/23 season). A good sign indeed. 
 
Stay safe,
 
Ingrid Jarrett
President and CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association 
Today's update includes:
 
  • Message from ABLE BC | Dining Restrictions
  • HAC & CBRE Hotels: Breaking News Webinar Recording Now Available
  • WorkBC Wage Subsidy
  • Victoria Chamber Award Finalists & Winners
  • Press Release | British Columbia’s Restaurants Need a Sector-specific Survival Package to Bring Back 45,300 Jobs
  • TIAC | Take The Tourism Pledge for National Tourism Week, May 23-30, 2021
  • 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
Message From ABLE BC | Dining Restrictions
Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

I know many of you are looking for answers on whether the current ban on indoor dining - set to expire at midnight on May 24 - will be lifted, extended, or modified. We are doing everything possible to get that clarity for you.

I just got off the phone with senior officials from Public Health, where I and several industry colleagues pushed for the answers you need. Unfortunately, the decision has not yet been made.

Dr. Henry will be addressing British Columbians at a press conference this coming Thursday. You can watch it live on CBC. We anticipate Dr. Henry will offer some clarity on when she will be announcing her decision about the current "Circuit Breaker" Public Health Order.

To be clear: at this point it seems likely we may not know until after the long weekend when indoor dining will be allowed to resume. It is also possible the orders may be extended for a few more weeks.

Until we hear otherwise from Dr. Henry, we strongly recommend HOLDING OFF on ordering extra inventory or scheduling additional staff in anticipation of resuming indoor dining.

The good news is the number of new cases is going down and more than 50 per cent of eligible British Columbians have received a vaccine. So long as hospitalization and ICU rates continue to decline, we are headed in the right direction. Regardless of what happens on Monday, the industry is going to be reopening sometime soon - we just don't know when yet.

I know this is not the answer you were hoping for. And I know how frustrating it is to once again have to wait on the information you need to make vital business decisions. Rest assured we will continue to do everything we can to gain the clarity you need in the coming days.

I'll be back in touch as we know more. As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch at jeff@ablebc.ca with any questions.

-Jeff
Wage Subsidy Update
The WorkBC Wage Subsidy program covers a part of employee wages so employers can hire job seekers and provide work opportunities. Both unemployed individuals and employers in B.C. can benefit from WorkBC Wage Subsidy.

Where to start?
 
Are you ready to apply?

Wage subsidy offers employers opportunities to 
  • Cover a portion of wages for employees
  • Re-hire laid off employees
  • Hire new employees
  • Fill various hiring needs 
  • Support existing operations or expansion
  • Reduce work-related barriers for an employee with disabilities

Subsidy rates range, depending on an individual’s situation. You can also contact your WorkBC Centre to discuss the wage subsidy program.
Victoria Chamber | Congratulations 2021 Business Awards
Winners and Finalists
Extending our sincere congratulations to the winners and finalists of the Victoria Chamber Business awards. The winners distinguished themselves in many ways and in many categories, including excellent customer service, sustainable business practices, emerging professionals and non-profit association of the year. This year’s winners not only battled the normal barriers to success that face most businesses, they also faced down a global pandemic and found ways to succeed despite it.

From start-ups to local legends, The Chamber’s 2021 Greater Victoria Business Awards showcase hard-working entrepreneurs, as well as business people and community leaders in 14 categories worth celebrating. 

Winners were chosen by an independent panel of prominent business leaders who served as judges. This marks the second year the event has been held as a televised broadcast (premiering at 6 p.m., May 15, on CHEK).​
Press Release | British Columbia’s Restaurants Need a Sector-specific Survival Package to Bring Back 45,300 Jobs
Foodservice businesses need an exemption from the scheduled scale-back of the wage and rent subsidies to bring back nearly half a million jobs still missing from the Canadian economy.
 
VANCOUVER, May 13, 2021 — Restaurants Canada is calling for a sector-specific support package to recover more than 400,000 foodservice jobs — including 45,300 jobs still missing from British Columbia’s restaurant sector.
 
“Restaurants are key to feeding British Columbia’s recovery and bringing back jobs, but first they need to survive,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “If subsidies are scaled back too soon, they won’t have the working capital they need to transition from survival to revival.”
 
Restaurants account for most of Canada’s pandemic employment gap
 
According to the April Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, more than two thirds (70.9%) of the 503,000 jobs still missing from the Canadian economy in the wake of COVID-19 are from the foodservice sector.
 
Factoring in the 80,700 employees who didn’t work any hours last month, there are still 437,500 fewer people working in Canada’s foodservice sector than there were in February 2020. This includes 45,300 restaurant jobs still not recovered in British Columbia — nearly a quarter of the province’s foodservice workforce.
 
With a number of provinces prolonging or increasing dining restrictions as they continue to contend with the third wave of the pandemic, further foodservice job losses will likely be reported in May.
 
Half of restaurants face risk of closure if subsidies are scaled back too soon

TIAC | Take The Tourism Pledge for National Tourism Week, May 23-30, 2021
May 23 - 30, 2021 is Tourism Week in Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is leading the national campaign to recognize Canada’s tourism economy, and the impact it has on every community across the country. 
 
This year, we aim to recognize the resilience of the industry through this unprecedented time.
 
We are calling on Canadians to take the 2021 Tourism Pledge to Travel In Canada when restrictions are lifted. Extending an invitation to come together as a country and support our local tourism destinations, businesses, and employees.
Part of our national campaign includes providing you with tools and resources to use during the week. 
 
We ask for your support during this week and encourage you to get involved, take the pledge, post your commitment through social media channels and encourage your followers as well as colleagues and peers to do the same.  If you have a programmable lighting system, light-it-up in Tourism Week’s “Glowing Green” on your region’s day, or all week.
 
To learn more about Tourism Week and access our branding toolkit, please visit TourismCounts.ca.
Bill 13 | Letter Surrounding Employment Standards Amendment Act
Greg Kyllo, MLA for Shuswap and Official Opposition Critic for Labour has released a letter regarding Bill 13 – Employment Standards Amendment Act.

The NDP government has recently tabled Bill 13 – Employment Standards Amendment Act (No.2), 2021. This legislation will require employers to pay workers their full wages and the government will reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each worker who is not covered by an existing sick leave program, for up to three days. 

In addition to outlining concerns, Kyllo has asked stakeholders to please write to Premier Horgan at premier@gov.bc.ca with your concerns about this current legislation and copy him in on communication to help amplify your voice.
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! 
IN THE NEWS
Opinion: B.C.'s tourism and hospitality sector...

Opinion: Vaccination rates are rising, and our sector believes now is the appropriate time for the province to urgently act to help save B.C.'s pre-eminent position as a world class destination Clarence Louie * Nancy Stibbard The pandemic has hit ...

Read more
theprovince.com
Comment: B.C.'s tourism and hospitality sector...

A commentary by a group of industry leaders. As one of B.C.'s largest sectors, historically employing 320,000 workers and contributing more than $8 billion in GDP, the pandemic has hit tourism hardest among all provincial industries.

Read more
www.timescolonist.com
B.C. announces $50M for major tourism attractions and...

VICTORIA -- The B.C. government has earmarked up to $50 million to support tourism landmarks across the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. The province says it is unrolling a new "major anchor attractions program," which will direct grants...

Read more
vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca
What is ahead for Vancouver Island travel and tourism in ...

Gregor Craigie held a panel discussion on tourism on Vancouver Island. His guests were: - Anthony Everett, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island, - Stephen Gabrysh, owner of Campbell River Whale Watching and president of the North Island...

Read more
www.cbc.ca