C-19 BULLETIN - August 27th, 2021
Now Published Tuesdays & Fridays Over the Summer

CEO Message

I’ve watched enough Dateline NBC and 48 Hours newsmagazine shows to know what goes on inside an interrogation room. Typically, it’s two detectives asking dozens of questions to entice a suspect or witness to give up information that could crack a case. Usually the Q&A is quite boring until the detectives home in on one answer and press for more information.

Many days I feel like I’m being grilled by cops trying to solve a mystery. However, rather than detectives, it’s TIABC's own members or reporters asking the questions and pursuing an angle that I may not be equipped to address.

In several interviews earlier this week, I was repeatedly asked about the new vaccine passport (card) regime that the province is about to implement. While TIABC contends that proof of vaccination is generally a positive measure to allow our industry to continue operating in-spite of rising COVID transmission rates, the orders nonetheless took most operators by surprise. Since Monday's announcement, we’ve heard from many concerned members seeking clarification on the use of proof of vaccination cards, as well as the return of the mask mandate.

For example: Do hotel guests need to be double dosed? Do employees need to be fully vaccinated? Are frontline employees expected to enforce the mask mandate and demand proof of vaccination by customers? Instead of mandatory masks and proof of vaccinations, why not focus on problem areas around the province? The list goes on and on.

TIABC and our partners at the BCHA, ABLE BC, Destination BC, the regional and community DMOs, ITBC, and other sector associations are collecting questions from operators and feeding them up through government channels to the PHO to not only find answers to help operators now, but to allow the province to add the next level of detail on the technology, enforcement, and other components of the proof of vaccination card system when it's officially launched on September 13th.

In the coming days, we’ll be working with our partners and government to update the industry toolkit we developed a couple of months ago to manage through various orders and steps with the goal of providing clear and concise direction to businesses throughout the province. One area of critical importance is how to deal with employees vis-à-vis vaccinations. Our colleagues at the Business Council of British Columbia commissioned a legal review of vaccinations in the workplace that is extremely informative and helpful (a summary of which is included below).

Understandably, as pandemic developments unfold, further uncertainty and nervousness prevails throughout our industry, especially with the reality of more cancellations at hotels and venues during the last stages of the peak season.

As we consider the variables in the weeks ahead, it’s essential that we learn of your challenges, questions, and recommendations on the new orders and measures. To that end, please send me a note detailing the obstacles you face in the context of any and all government directives. Importantly…if you’ve got data that illustrates how your business is affected, feel free to share it.

While I’ve become used to being grilled by media, members, and even family about government directives, I rarely have all the answers given how orders change so frequently in response to the volatility of the crisis...hence the reason it’s so important I hear from you so that I can continue to pass your concerns on to the PHO, Ministry of Tourism (Arts, Culture & Sport), and other decision-makers.

For the record, I’ve never been inside an interrogation room or questioned by detectives. I hope it stays that way.

Walt Judas
A Legal View of Mandatory Vaccines
 in the Workplace

As businesses and employers grapple with the legal matters and rights pertaining to mandatory vaccinations among their employees in the workplace, the team at Roper Greyell prepared an informative overview for BCBC members on the shifting public opinion and evolving legal landscape.

Employers have a right to manage their workplace and to protect their business interests. This overarching power is not set out in any law; rather, it is an inherent right of every employer implied in every employment contract, including collective agreements. This does not mean “management rights” are unrestrained. Restrictions are found in several areas, including specific laws regarding employment standards and human rights, contracts between employers and employees, and in the “common law” (judge made law). Along with the right to manage a workplace, employers also have obligations, one of which is providing a safe workplace for employees.

Consequences of Failure to be Vaccinated
Employers implementing mandatory vaccination policies should consider potential consequences for employees failing or refusing to get vaccinated. These could include being terminated, being held out of work without pay, being required to avoid contact with coworkers or customers, being required to work from home, or simply being required to always wear a mask. In the authors’ view, an employee’s failure or refusal to get vaccinated will seldom amount to “just cause” for termination without notice or severance.

Privacy Issues
Any policy requiring employees to prove or disclose their vaccination status means the employer will be collecting “personal information” regulated by privacy legislation.

Read the complete brief here.
South Shuswap Chamber Lobbies to Support and Protect Businesses and Frontline Workers Amid the Vaccine Passport

The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce is advocating to ensure businesses stay open during this pandemic by utilizing every tool possible. While implementing a proof of vaccination passport by the Provincial government may be one tool that is being considered, the responsibility and monitoring of such a program cannot land on business owners. 

The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce will continue to work with its regional partners and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia, and the BC Chamber of Commerce to advocate at the provincial level for reasonable and effective implementation of plans moving forward. In the words of the BC Chamber CEO Fiona Famulak, “It is incumbent on government to work with us on the program details to ensure it is fair, effective and prioritizes the safety of the business owners, employees and workers responsible for program enforcement.” 

Read the full media release here
New Fund Launched for Community Events

The Province will begin accepting applications immediately to support BC-based events through the new Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund.

The Government of BC is providing up to $12.9 million in one-time grants to eligible event organizers to support their efforts to resume safely. Grant amounts for each event will be up to 20% of the total event budget, to a maximum of $250,000 per application.

Eligible events include sport, arts and culture events, community celebrations, agricultural fairs, rodeos and exhibitions. Applications submitted by organizations will be required to demonstrate local or regional support and show the economic and social benefits for the community.

Learn more here
Destination BC Launches First US Marketing Campaign Since March 2020

On this day, Destination BC will reach a significant milestone on the BC tourism industry’s road to recovery, with the launch of its first cross-border marketing campaign since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between now and November 12th, Washington residents will be encouraged to escape to another world beyond their borders and backyard to discover new sights, sounds, and tastes close to home but far from what they know – all within reach in British Columbia.

Learn more here
Time for a ‘Health Check’ on the Tourism Industry as Summer Winds Down

By Jock Finlayson
As the summer winds down, it’s an opportune time for a ‘health check’ on the tourism industry, one of BC’s biggest employers and – in normal times — a vital source of export earnings. Globally, the seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with tourism. No industry has been hit harder by the virus. The economic and human cost has been significant.

From a Canada-wide perspective, the period since early 2020 has seen unprecedented declines in most tourism-related performance indicators. International visitor arrivals are down by 85%. Airline industry revenues have plunged by roughly 90%.

No cruise ships have docked at Canadian ports-of-call in the last 18 months. In-person conventions, trade shows, conferences, festivals, fairs and exhibitions have largely disappeared. Travel to and within Canada for business meetings has shriveled to almost nothing. The overall result is that some 500,000 jobs have been lost in industries that are part of the broad Canadian tourism sector.

Before the pandemic washed onto BC’s shores in March of last year, tourism and hospitality businesses collectively were reporting almost $23 billion in annual revenues and provided more than 300,000 jobs across the province.

These figures plummeted in the spring and early summer of 2020, before staging a partial rebound in the latter half of the year that has extended into 2021. But business volumes for most tourism operators are far from having fully revived. The recent re-opening of the border to vaccinated Americans is a rare glimpse of sunshine at a very dark time for BC’s tourism industry. Unfortunately, the terrible wildfires that have gripped the interior this summer have slowed the rebound in activity.

Looking across the sector, the dramatic drop-off in international travel undoubtedly counts as the biggest blow to BC’s tourism industry, hammering Metro Vancouver hotels, resorts and fishing lodges, high-end restaurants, touring companies, visitor attractions, and much else besides. Compared to other provinces, B.C. is particularly dependent on international visitors.

In 2019, they generated close to 40% of all revenues for BC’s tourism sector, with the rest coming from spending by visitors from other parts of Canada and British Columbians travelling within the province. The recovery of international travel is expected to be a long and bumpy process, especially if COVID-19 becomes endemic and some of the extra border restrictions put in place since early 2020 persist.

It may take several years for the global and North American tourism marketplaces to return to anything like normal.

Amid the pandemic-induced slump, the federal and BC governments have provided crucial support to tourism operators and employees. This includes grants and low-interest loans, wage subsidies, financial contributions to eligible businesses to cover a portion of rent costs, and payments for displaced and unemployed workers.

In July, the BC government also earmarked funding to support “anchor attractions” that are important in drawing visitors to the province and to various local communities. Grants of up to $1 million are available to selected “anchor attractions” in both urban and rural areas, as well as to tour bus operators. This targeted assistance should enable more BC tourism businesses to survive until better times (hopefully) materialize in 2022.

As policymakers look to pare back financial assistance provided to industries hurt by the pandemic, tourism will continue to merit special attention given the extent of the damage inflicted on the sector in the last 18 months. For BC’s tourism industry, the impact of COVID-19 has been greater than 9/11, SARS, and the 2008-09 global recession combined. Apart from continuing to support anchor attractions, a near-term priority should be to establish incentives to encourage domestic leisure travel to partly offset what is expected to be a slow recovery for international tourism, business travel, conferences and conventions.

Jock Finlayson is a senior policy advisor with the BC Business Council.

Read the full op-ed here
CBSA Announces Resumption of Services at Small Marine Reporting Sites

After an aggressive lobbying campaign by multiple industry partners, including TIABC, the federal government announced recently that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will proceed with the resumption of service at various small marine reporting sites, airports of entry and ferry terminals over the coming days and weeks. This follows the coming into force of new public health measures affecting travel to Canada for fully vaccinated United States citizens and permanent residents on August 9th.

The CBSA services will resume in BC as of 23:59 EDT on September 6th at:
  • Alaska State Ferry Terminal
  • Belleville Terminal in Victoria
  • Blackball Terminal in Victoria
  • Washington State Ferry Terminal

Learn more here
Whitecap RSC Medical Supporting BC Tourism

Whitecap RSC Medical provides collaborative expertise in safety and logistics, with a specialized focus on COVID-19 risk mitigation and testing. They are experienced in all aspects of infection control, from safely providing the public with comfortable testing, to supporting ambitious industrial objectives.

Whitecap provides public COVID-19 testing with online registration in a variety of formats to suit public needs. They have testing hubs throughout BC that provide the collection of samples for testing by Antigen and PCR.

Whitecap is engaged with TIABC and and the BC Hotel Association working for solutions to broaden the consumer experience and offer growth to these sectors within COVID compliance and prevention.

Learn more here or visit whitecapcovidtesting.com
Sí:yá:ya Yóyes Friends Working Together Plan Announced

Síyá:ya Yóyes Friends Working (Together) Plan is tailored to guide Tourism Ch’illiwack in providing tangible contributions to the reconciliation process with Indigenous peoples. Tourism Ch’illiwack retained the services of Dan George and Four Directions Management Services to create this plan to ensure Tourism Ch’illiwack is inclusive in their work and contributes to the National Truth and Reconciliation plan and to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“We often hear how organizations and governments are looking to work together and implement concepts of reconciliation, but actions speak louder than words. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work on the Sí:yá:ya Yóyes Plan and be a part of something tangible and forward thinking with likeminded individuals in an effort to effect positive change,” expressed Chief Jimmie.

Learn more here

Síyá:ya Yóyes - a Halq’eméylem phrase meaning "friends working". It is implied that they are working together. Pronounced See-yay-yuh Yah-yes
Businesses Prepare for Proof
of Vaccination Mandate

Walt Judas was interviewed by CKPG regarding the impending proof of vaccination mandate, which was introduced after months of pleas for solutions, as outlined in this two page letter signed off by 10 sector associations, including TIABC, asking for proof of vaccination to keep businesses open.

"It has to be an order, or very clear directives by government. It can't be left up to the employee or employer to enforce."

View the complete story here
Opinion: A Simple Plea to Visitors—Be Nicer

Walt Judas was interviewed by The Pique Newsmagazine regarding the severe labour shortage in the tourism industry.

While local business leaders are advocating for easier access to working holiday visa holders and other temporary foreign workers, there are no quick or easy answers to soothe the pain.

What does this all mean for the long-term outlook? What happens to the guest experience when we can’t properly staff our businesses? Looking further out, what does that do to our reputation as a desirable place to visit?

View the complete story here
In Case you Missed it
TIABC's Guide to the Federal Election

As party leaders criss-cross the country with announcements and election promises, TIABC will continue to provide you with up-to-date information on commitments made to the tourism industry.

In an effort to engage candidates in the issues that matter to BC's visitor economy, TIABC has produced a Guide to the 2021 Federal Election as a tool for members to use over the coming weeks. It offers a number of suggested questions to ask local candidates in your riding. The guide will be updated as new issues arise. Feel free to submit your questions to info@tiabc.ca to be considered for inclusion in future versions.

Download the TIABC Guide to the 2021 Federal Election at:www.tiabc.ca/2021-election-guide
Industry Messaging Guidance for US Visitors – UPDATE

Destination BC has updated their Industry Messaging Guidance for US Visitors document with new resources from the Public Health Agency of Canada. There’s also key messaging, information on entry requirements – including the need for a negative molecular test – and a comprehensive FAQ. The guide will be further updated once provincial vaccine passport details become available. Please check back for new information.

Learn more here
Key Messaging for BC Wildfires

FOR VISITORS: Know before you go. Find current travel restrictions, wildfire info, and other key visitor information on Destination BC's consumer website, HelloBC.com. Learn more.
NEW – updated August 18: The Government of BC has issued a request for visitors to avoid all non-essential travel to or through wildfire-impacted areas. To learn more about what defines an “impacted area”, what to tell visitors, and the key information resources available, see Destination BC’s Wildfire Messaging Guidance.

Destination BC has also prepared Emergency Messaging Guidance to help the tourism industry navigate questions, mitigate visitor concerns, and proactively manage perceptions during emergencies, available here.
Request for Proposal - DUE MONDAY
2022 Tourism & Hospitality Conference

  • Are you an experienced event and/or conference planner?
  • Are you passionate about the tourism and hospitality industries?
  • Do you possess a strong skillset to develop, produce, and manage large-scale events?

The Tourism Industry Association (TIABC) and The BC Hotel Association (BCHA) have issued an RFP to solicit proposals from qualified meeting and events planners interested in successfully organizing, coordinating, and managing the 2nd Annual BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference, taking place in-person March 8-11, 2022 in Prince George.

About the Conference:
In face of the challenges presented over the course of the COVID-19, in March 2021, TIABC and the BCHA joined forces to present the first ever BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference, held virtually. With the aim of providing industry with tools, knowledge, and resources for success, the conference will once again bring industry operators, partners, and stakeholders together in March 2022 for a four-day period filled with connection, growth, and inspiration.

How to Submit A Proposal:
Please refer to complete RFP package here for full submission guidance. Proposals must be received by August 30th at 5pm PST and can be submitted to the following:

1). By mail:
BC Hotel Association/Tourism Industry Association of BC
200-948 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 1N9

2). Electronically:
Walt Judas           Ingrid Jarrett
wjudas@tiabc.ca  ingrid@bcha.com
TIABC Member Recognition

TIABC recognizes that many of our members have been supporting our organization's advocacy efforts for a very long time. In this feature, we are showcasing those businesses and wish to thank them for their ongoing support.
Vancouver's North Shore Tourism

Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association is the destination marketing organization that promotes the North Shore as a unique four-season tourist destination. The region spans from Deep Cove in North Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and includes three municipalities: District of West Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, and the City of North Vancouver. 

VSNTA has been a long-standing supporter of TIABC, adding their voice to the strong category of DMO members within our organization.


Due to the difficulties our industry has faced since early 2020, we have extended various payment options to members if required. Please contact Deborah to learn more about how we can assist you with your membership renewal, or if you are interested in becoming a member

We strongly encourage you to consider membership with TIABC to support our important advocacy efforts on behalf of the entire visitor economy.


During July and August, TIABC's C-19 Bulletin will be published twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays). We will continue to keep you informed of our advocacy efforts, government announcements, industry updates and any other relevant information to help you in your recovery efforts.

We continue to gather national, provincial, regional and community industry news, activities and events, and will be sure to provide additional updates should there be extraordinary news to share with our members.

Moments of Levity

As an industry that continues to face enormous challenges during COVID-19, every once in awhile it's important to share a laugh, a good story, a beautiful image or an interesting anecdote to provide moments of levity during this most difficult time.
Tourism Digital Academy Program

The Destination BC Tourism Digital Academy is a free, eight-week digital marketing program for BC tourism businesses interested in building their knowledge and skills in digital marketing to an intermediate level.

Designed for business owners or marketing team members, this comprehensive program provides actionable guidance that includes building a better understanding of SEO, website usability, content, email marketing and analytics.

Applications for the next two intakes (October 4 and October 11) are now open! Space is limited and past intakes filled up quickly. Don’t miss this free opportunity to take your marketing skills to the next level!

Learn more here
Lead Generation & Marketing Tips

ABLE BC and Ballistic Arts invite you to join us for a free webinar.

At last! British Columbia and the rest of Canada are opening back up. That's great news, but how are you going to best take advantage of this for your business?

Will you marketing tactics that you used during the lockdown work now that the economy is reemerging? What new initiatives should you think about and what should you avoid?

Join us on this one-hour webinar 'Lead Generation and Marketing Tips for BC's Reopening' with expert Ted Lau, CEO of award-winning Ballistic Arts, and podcast host of Marketing News Canada.

Date: Wednesday, September 1, 10:00 am PT

What you'll learn:

  • The big changes in Apple, Facebook, and Google that will affect how you market
  • What type of cost effective marketing content makes sense for your lead generation efforts
  • Even more about the Marketing Funnel/Loop and where you need to focus in the reopening

The economy is reopening, are you ready? Register here for the free webinar.

If you are unable to attend live, a webinar recording will be sent to everyone registered.
Fall Colours Educational Event

As with the successful Spring event, the Fall Colours Event will invite RTO Members to attend complimentary* organized Zoom presentations provided by “Pods” of Seller Members in the form of regional educational sessions. Q&A networking opportunity will be at the end of each of the 30-minute sessions.

BC and Alberta: September 14th, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm PST

Deadline for sponsorship registration is August 6th.
  • There are only 50 spots for sellers per event, so make sure to register early!
  • CITAP will be arranging the pods, and the deadline for registration of ALL attendees is August 27, 2021
  • RTO members are encouraged to attend both sessions

Sellers Note:
  • Sellers are required to provide a presentation with a maximum of 4 slides
  • Sellers will have 5-minute time limit for their presentation

Deadline for submitting presentations is September 3rd.

Click here to register or contact info@citap.ca for more information.
Selling and Growing Your Business on Amazon

In this free two-part webinar series, learn how to sell online successfully through Amazon. Topics covered include a step-by-step overview on getting started, how you can grow and scale your business, and top tips and considerations for launching your presence on Amazon.

Date: Wednesday, September 22nd, 1:00 – 2:00 pm PST How to Grow Your Business on Amazon

What will I learn?
  • How to get started selling on Amazon Canada
  • How to grow and scale your business on Amazon Canada, including tools like Fulfilment by Amazon, Brand Registry, and more
  • Best practices and top tools used by our most successful selling partners
  • How to get the Prime Badge and use FBA 
  • How to drive traffic with Advertising and Deals
  • How Amazon Canada can support your business expansion and reach customers

Click here for more information and to register.
With the move to Step 3 of BC's Restart Plan and the prospect of moving to Step 4 by no earlier than September 7th, our industry is expanding virtual meetings and once again opening their meeting room and conference room doors. We are pleased to provide you with updated information on the following industry meetings, conferences and events.
Annual Camping Appreciation Weekend

Mark the weekend of September 10-12 on your calendar, as Canadian campgrounds coast-to-coast participate in the 2021 Canadian Camping Appreciation Weekend.

The Camping Appreciation weekend is a national initiative coordinated by the Canadian Camping and RV Council to say thank you for your patronage over the camping season and we encourage you to come out and help celebrate the camping and RV Lifestyle!

Read more click here and book your campsite.
UBCM 2021 Convention

UBCM’s Executive and staff look forward to welcoming delegates from across the province to the 2021 UBCM Convention. This year’s event is just over a month away, and over the coming weeks they will be detailing the workshops, keynotes and policy discussions that will feature at this year’s meeting.

The plenary will feature the Honourable Murray Sinclair, Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. There will also be an array of thought-provoking workshops that will include sessions on forest policy modernization, cybersecurity and housing affordability, and the need to rethink emergency preparedness, wildfire risk and climate action in light of extreme heat events.

Date: September 14 - 17.

Click here for conference information and to register.

Community Futures 2021 Conference

With this year's theme "Rural, Resilient & Looking Forward", the provincial conference will be held in Revelstoke, BC.

This is an in-person event.

Dates: September 20 - 22.

Click here for more information and to register.
Tourism Vancouver Island AGM

Elections will take place electronically during the period of August 23rd to September 7th. The results of this election will be announced at the Association’s Annual General Meeting.

Dates: October 10th, 2021 (to be held virtually).

Click here for more information and the official Notice of Nominations.
Boating BC Annual Conference

Boating BC is pleased to announce they will be hosting their annual Boating BC Conference. This year’s theme will be “New Horizons – Building Momentum/Building Our Industry”. Watch for more details to come.

Dates: November 23rd and 24th
2021 TIAC Tourism Congress

Under the theme, Forging Canada’s Tourism Future, this year's Congress will have an amazing line-up of valued experts, innovative panels, enriching content and robust networking opportunities you can only get in person.

Thinking of registering in person? You’ll enjoy additional sessions that are only available live.

TIAC Members who register by September 7 SAVE $100 on in-person registration.
Dates: November 30th and December 1st.

Click here to register and to view the programming being offered at this year’s Congress.

TIABC Annual General Meeting
Thursday, November 18th

Details to the AGM including official Notice of AGM and registration will soon follow.
IMPACT Travel & Tourism Conference

Dialogue and recommendations will be captured from this annual conference of thought leaders to produce the IMPACT Conference Proceedings Paper in 2022.

As conference organizers, they believe through conversation, inspiration and collaboration they can position Canada as a global leader in sustainability and innovation in tourism and drive a competitive advantage for the future. This is the legacy they hope to create from the IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference.

DATE: January 23 - 26, 2022, Victoria Conference Centre

Details to the Conference including registration will be provided late in August, 2021.
THC logo wo date
BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference - 2022

March 8 - 11, 2022
Prince George

TIABC and the BC Hotel Association are excited to announced the 2nd annual Tourism & Hospitality Conference will be taking place in Prince George next spring.

Details to the conference including registration, accommodation and speaker highlights will be updated in Fall, 2021 on the conference website here.
Feel free to send us your ideas on what information would be valuable for TIABC to share through our COVID-19 Bulletin going forward. Drop us a line at info@tiabc.ca.