C-19 BULLETIN - June 16, 2021

Joint Statement on Resumption of Travel within BC

Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport; Brenda Baptiste, chair, Indigenous Tourism BC; Walt Judas, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of BC; Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO, BC Hotel Association; Anthony Everett, chair of the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat; and Richard Porges, interim president and CEO, Destination BC, released a statement on June 15th regarding the resumption of non-essential travel within BC.

“It’s an exciting time for British Columbians as we begin travelling again.

“People have been doing their part – getting vaccinated and following the rules – to keep each other safe and protect our communities.

“The hospitality and tourism sector have sacrificed so much in the fight against COVID-19. Now we’re encouraging British Columbians to say thank you by exploring B.C. this summer.

“Every dollar British Columbians spend at a local hotel, restaurant, attraction, experience or shop helps people and families, the tourism sector, our communities and our province create jobs, restart and recover.

“Since the pandemic began, the tourism and hospitality industry has done an amazing job implementing rigorous health and safety plans to keep its staff and visitors safe, and it will keep doing what’s required to keep the public and its teams safe.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and start our slow return to normal, people and businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector are excited to welcome British Columbians back to their communities and show visitors all our province has to offer.”

Learn more here
Toolkit on Reopening
for BC's Tourism Industry

For a quick guide on communications, health and safety, workforce, and marketing in relation to Step 2 of BC’s Restart Plan, BC tourism businesses and partners are encouraged to refer to the Tourism Restart Step 2 Toolkit.

The toolkit will be updated as BC moves through each step of the BC Restart Plan.

Click here to download the Tourism Restart Step 2 Toolkit or visit www.tiabc.ca.
Everything to Know about BC's New Guidance on Gatherings and Events in the Province

On Monday (June 14), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that British Columbians may begin to enjoy increased connections as the province moves into Step 2 of its Restart Plan.

While Henry noted that people may "now increase our much-needed connections, a little bit more," she cautioned that the public health orders are still in place.

Outdoor personal gatherings of up to 50 people, including birthday parties, backyard BBQs, and block parties, are now permitted. However, Henry noted that the guidance on indoor gatherings is unchanged — only five people or one household are permitted inside (or one other household).

Event rules have been changed:
  • 50 people can attend inside, seated events and follow other COVID-19 safety rules, but no singing, dancing or karaoke
  • 50 people can attend inside, seated events at banquet halls, and in addition to the rules for other inside events, there is no self-serve food or liquor allowed
  • 50 people can attend outside gatherings
All categories of sport have been combined:
  • Inside sport can have up to 50 people, no spectators
  • Outside sport can have up to 50 people, and up to 50 spectators
  • Travel restrictions are lifted
  • High intensity group exercise is now allowed, with the same capacity, distancing limits and other requirements as other exercise that are in place
Episodic Markets:
  • Resume sale of non-food merchandise at indoor markets with capacity limits similar to retail
  • Allows sampling at markets
Food and Liquor Serving Premises
  • People still must remain seated, with exceptions for pool, darts and bowling the can engage in these with up to six people who are in the same party
  • Collection of personal information is no longer required
  • Limitations on amplification of music and other have been removed and getting up to plug a jukebox is ok
  • Liquor sales can now go to midnight, so places that do not sell full meals now must close at 1 am
  • Increased the options for perimeter seating vehicles to transport passengers, extend the hours to pick up one hour after liquor sales cease (1:00 am), increased occupancy limits to allow to carry up to 6 people, irrespective of physical distancing

Click here for more information.
Western Premiers Call for Clarity, Timelines on International Travel, Reopening Rules

Canada’s western leaders say they plan to push Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week on a detailed plan and timeline to reopen international borders.

BC Premier Horgan is included in discussions relating to issues of shared concern, ranging from post-COVID-19 recovery to next steps and healing around residential schools.

Trudeau has called Premiers to a meeting Thursday, June 17th to discuss reopening borders amid concerns Canada is lagging behind other nations on resuming travel.

In Ottawa, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc signalled Canadians can expect an announcement on easing travel restrictions by Monday, but warned new rules won’t necessarily go into effect right away. He stressed that restrictions will be phased out slowly, and will be tied to rising vaccination rates and falling COVID-19 caseloads.

Click here for the full story.
Tourism Industry Faces Workforce Shortages as Restrictions Ease

In spite of the good news on the lifting of some travel restrictions, TIABC CEO Walt Judas talked about workforce challenges with City News Journalist Ashley Burr on June 14th.

Click here to view the full interview.
Tourism Industry Responds to Opportunities & Challenges on Reopening

Both TIABC CEO Walt Judas and TIABC Director Ian MacPhee, joined Stirling Faux on CKNW to discuss the lifting of the travel restrictions.

Click here to listen (choose June 13th at 9:05am to find the full interviews). NOTE - Monday's link to this story was incorrect. We apologize for the error.

Labour Shortages, Closed Borders Major Obstacles to BC Restaurant, Tourism Restarts

Progressive easing of pandemic health restrictions in British Columbia are welcome steps to bring back normal life, but tourism and restaurant sector representatives say operators face daunting COVID-19 related barriers of worker shortages and border closures.

The shortage of labour in BC and the closed border between Canada and the United States will hinder the restart effort despite fewer health restrictions, restaurant and tourism industry spokesmen said Tuesday.

Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of BC, said the industry lost billions of dollars in revenues over the past 16 months and it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit.

Click here to read the full interview
BC Parks Pilots Plans for Access to Nature

Better protection for the environment and new, expanded measures for British Columbians to access nature are coming to BC Parks this summer.

To address the surge in visitors in five of the province’s most popular parks, new and revised initiatives are being introduced this season as part of the continued free day-use pass pilot program.

Beginning June 22nd, plans for this season include:

  • Opening Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, in partnership with Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua, under the new Joffre Lakes Park Visitor Use Management Strategy, which includes free day-use passes and continuing the Ske’l7awlh Stewards Program;
  • Implementing free day-use passes for Mount Robson Park (Berg Lake Trail), Stawamus Chief Park (Chief Parks Backside Trail), Garibaldi Park (trailheads at Diamond Head, Rubble Creek and Cheakamus) and Golden Ears Park; and
  • Partnering with the BC Parks Foundation to introduce more than 30 full-time discover parks ambassadors to welcome visitors and provide information about safe and responsible recreation.

More people in provincial parks means an increased focus on visitor safety. Park visitors often stay on popular trails that can become overused and crowded in areas such as viewpoints. Overuse of trails leads to environmental impacts such as trail widening, soil erosion, altered hydrology, damaged vegetation and increased garbage from people littering.

BC Parks will be evaluating the second phase of the day-use pass pilot program to inform future decisions and approaches for day passes in provincial parks.

Further details about the free passes for the five parks can be found here.
BC Lends Support to Temporary Patios Going Permanent

More than 2,000 temporary patios authorized to serve liquor during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply to become permanent under amended provincial liquor regulations. This includes prospective patios that are supported by local governments and meet local bylaws.

Temporary expanded service areas (TESAs) have allowed thousands of restaurants and pubs to serve more patrons while complying with health orders, particularly those related to physical distancing and indoor dining. To ensure existing and prospective TESAs can operate without interruption as they transition toward becoming a permanent part of B.C.’s hospitality landscape, the Province is:

  • extending the authorization of existing TESAs for an additional seven months, through to June 1, 2022; and
  • continuing to accept applications for new TESAs up to Oct. 31, 2021.

The changes will give businesses time to apply to make their current TESA authorizations permanent and prevent the risk of disrupting TESA use during the application process. As well, the changes provide local governments and Indigenous Nations more time to review eligible applications for permanent structural changes before TESA authorizations expire and to consider the implications of permanent approval for their communities.

Local governments and Indigenous Nations will have until July 30th to raise concerns about existing TESA authorizations in their jurisdiction before those temporary authorizations are extended by six months by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). To all licensees with current TESA authorizations and whose local governments have not raised concerns, LCRB will issue authorization letters extending the expiry date of their temporary authorization to June 1, 2022.

Extended TESA authorizations must remain in compliance with local bylaws and all other requirements. Without a new authorization letter, existing TESAs will expire October 31st.

Quick Facts:

  • Businesses wishing to make their current TESA authorization permanent must apply for a new outdoor patio permanent structural change if their TESA is located outdoors, or a new interior service area permanent structural change if their TESA is located indoors, through the Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Portal (link below).
  • Permanent approval of TESAs must meet all local bylaws and requirements (e.g., related to parking, building code and the use of public land).
  • LCRB has amended policies and processes to help improve application timelines and support the transition of viable TESAs to permanent service areas. However, businesses are encouraged to submit their permanent structural change applications as soon as possible as the approval process, which involves both the Province and local governments or Indigenous Nations, can take up to 10 months.

Further information can be found here.
Air Canada Supports Economic Recovery to Enable Canadians to Conveniently Connect

Air Canada’s domestic peak summer schedule beginning at the end of June has been developed to advance the country’s economic recovery and support Canada’s tourism and hospitality businesses during the important summer period. Three new domestic Canada routes, service to 50 Canadian airports, the re-establishment of select regional routes, and wide-body aircraft featuring Air Canada Signature Class and Premium Economy Class on select transcontinental routes are included.

Seats with attractive pricing in all cabins are available for purchase now at aircanada.com, via the Air Canada App, Air Canada’s Contact Centres and travel agencies.

Air Canada’s new refund policy provides customers an option for a refund to the original form of payment in instances where Air Canada cancels their flight or reschedules the departure time by more than three hours, irrespective of the reason. Air Canada customers will also have the option
of accepting an Air Canada Travel Voucher or Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus.

Click here for more information.
ITAC Shares Funding Win and Continues To Advocate For More Support

The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) is pleased to share that, due to the organization’s funding advocacy campaign, they have been able to secure just enough funding from partners to maintain basic operations with a modest domestic marketing campaign for this summer.

Thanks to this funding, ITAC will be able help to promote Indigenous tourism operators from coast to coast to coast - though efforts will continue to be scaled back as the Government of Canada did not allocate the $68.3M of funding over four years requested in ITAC’s Strategic Recovery Plan and COVID-19 Second Wave Response in the 2021 Federal Budget.

The temporary funding will help ITAC launch a new campaign on Indigenous People’s Day and as travel restrictions begin to ease, to help promote Indigenous tourism operators in an effort to rebuild what was lost during the pandemic. More details on the campaign and funding will roll out within the next two weeks.
Learn more here.

TIABC recently appealed to the Federal government in support ITAC's funding advocacy campaign. View a copy of the letter here.
Tourism Takes a Breath

The crowds may have thinned in Whistler with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the issue of over-tourism isn’t going away in the long term.

COVID has provided a moment of sober reflection for tourism, but the core challenges haven’t gone away. Will the industry use its forced pause to shift to true sustainability, or will the years ahead be business as usual?

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Whistler was feeling the squeeze of over-tourism. In response, Tourism Whistler undertook a tourism visioning and place-branding exercise to gather input from the community. The end result of the exercise was a renewed purpose for Tourism Whistler.

Today, Tourism Whistler’s new updated vision is to be the most valued, respected, and sustainable four-season mountain destination in the world. For Whistler, that means focusing on strategies to smooth out year-round visitation; reducing the peaks while growing the valleys by offering off-peak programming and “dynamic” pricing.

Click here for the complete story.
National Indigenous History Month Workshops

Join Indigenous Tourism BC for two upcoming workshops in celebration of National Indigenous History Month.

These sessions are presented in partnership with Destination BC and sponsored by Daily Hive.
Celebrating Living Indigenous Art & Culture
Thursday June 17th - 2:00pm to 3:00pm (PDT)

Learn from Indigenous cultural ambassadors as they share their language, art and connection to the land in order to preserve the wealth of culture, from an Indigenous perspective.

Travel virtually to the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, BC with Sara Fulla, where you’ll learn about the history and cultural significance of Potlatches as well as artistic practices, including cedar weaving, song and dance.

Viewers will then be transported to the remote Great Bear Rainforest in Klemtu, BC where they will meet Sierra Hall at Spirit Bear Lodge. From harvesting traditional foods and wildlife watching to viewing petroglyphs and historical tours, Spirit Bear Lodge fosters deep connections to place and land. Learn about the many ways you can help protect and contribute to the revitalization of Indigenous culture that keeps over 204 Indigenous communities and more than 30 Indigenous languages alive in British Columbia’s diverse and beautiful regions.

Click here for more information and to register.
Honouring Wellness
Tuesday June 22nd - 2:00pm to 3:00pm (PDT)

Restore your spirit through a guided exploration of authentic Indigenous wellness rituals. Lifetimes of living in close relationship to the land have gifted Indigenous people with a natural sense of integrity between vivid sensory experiences and deep healing spaces.

To begin the workshop, Frank Antoine, co-founder of the Okanagan’s Moccasin Trails, will guide viewers through a spiritual smudging ceremony. Viewers will have the opportunity to learn about the colonization of Indigenous wellness practices, including the use of sage, and how we collectively can educate ourselves and pay respect to the origins of these customs.

Viewers will then meet Dennis Thomas of Takaya Tours, a premier Indigenous owned eco-tourism venture in Vancouver, BC. Indigenous peoples have travelled the land and waters of traditional territory for thousands of years, and Dennis will share his ancestral knowledge, fostering an appreciation for wilderness and authentic Indigenous culture. Learn how nature and sustainability through an Indigenous worldview contribute to social wellbeing and shift how we go about our daily lives for a better future. Enjoy a glimpse into Takaya Tours’ unforgettable canoe and kayak journeys across waters and explore ancient village sites through the Burrard Inlet and beautiful Indian Arm.

Click here for more information and to register.
Thank-You Long-standing TIABC Members!

TIABC recognizes that many of our members have been supporting our organization's advocacy efforts for a very long time. In this new feature, we will be showcasing those businesses, associations, organizations and DMOs that been TIABC members for more than 10 years.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Native Vancouverite Nancy Stibbard purchased Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in 1983 and has spearheaded the attraction’s development and phenomenal success over the past 30 years.

Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses to towering evergreens, cedar-scented rainforest air and Treetops Adventure, 7 suspended footbridges offering views 110 feet above the forest floor. Cliffwalk follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms and only 16 anchor points in the cliff supporting the structure!

Click here to learn more about the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

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. Feel free to share your photos, etc. with TIABC to share in our C-19 Bulletin.
5 New Free Learning Resources
for Tourism Operators & Destination Partners

It’s no secret that Canada’s tourism industry was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. One year into this new reality, our task is two-fold. We, as individual stakeholders, need to recover from the pandemic. And together, we must rebuild the visitor economy—when it is safe to do so.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) launched the Elevating Canadian Experiences (ECE) program to help tourism stakeholders seize innovative opportunities in culinary tourism and in the winter and shoulder seasons (WSS).

The ECE program was conceived as a series of in-person workshops held in rural and remote areas. But the program launch dovetailed with the pandemic and, like so many organizations, we needed to pivot.

From April 2020 to March 2021, TIAC and their partners, which included TIABC, delivered virtual workshops/webinars to over 4,000 participants, reaching over 30,000 businesses from coast to coast to coast. 

And now, TIAC is pleased to announce the ECE content hub, where you can access 5 new practical tools and resources developed for the program.
Culinary Tools
Canada has all the ingredients to become a world class culinary destination. Our culinary webinars and national guidelines support growth and innovation in creating tasty experiences for domestic and international visitors.

Self-Guided Webinars 
Over the course of five learning modules, you will learn how to concoct compelling culinary experiences, attract tourists and partner with other tourism stakeholders in your region. You’ll also explore how to nurture agritourism, create multisensory experiences, and how to exceed your visitors’ expectations—every single time. 

Culinary Tourism Strategy Development National Guidelines
Create your destination’s culinary tourism strategy using best practices from TIAC’s culinary tourism strategy development pilot, which took place in four regions in Québec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Informed by the methods, processes, activities, and learnings from the pilot project, the guidelines provide practical advice for tourism operators and destination partners.
Winter / Shoulder Season Tools
Summer is Canada’s peak tourism season. But we have a lot to offer visitors beyond June, July and August! Our WSS webinar, toolkit, and research report help operators and destination partners develop exceptional year-round experiences for when it’s safe to welcome visitors back.

Developing Winter / Shoulder Season Tourism Toolkit
Developed by industry experts, this toolkit helps destination partners discover untapped opportunities for tourism products and experiences from September to May. Full of valuable insights, worksheets, tips and strategies, the toolkit will fuel ideas to boost your region’s off-season tourism.

Enhancing Winter / Shoulder Tourism In Canada Webinar
Made up of six learning modules, this webinar will give you actionable advice on how to define your strategy, develop products and experiences, build collaborative partnerships and more to boost seasonal tourism in your business or region.

Winter / Shoulder Season Consumer Demand Research Report
Discover current data on the domestic WSS travel consumer that provides essential market insights to help tourism operators and destination partners develop exciting off-season products and experiences. 
Start today!
Get access to free tools and strategies to grow your business and tourism in your region at the ECE content hub: https://ecehub.tiac-aitc.ca/en/
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.