C-19 BULLETIN - May 3, 2021

Premier, Community Leaders Working Together to Get Everyone Registered

Premier John Horgan is reaching out to community leaders this week to enlist their help as B.C. calls on all eligible people to register for their COVID-19 vaccine through B.C.’s Get Vaccinated online system.

This week Premier Horgan will meet virtually with dozens of community leaders – including Lower Mainland mayors, youth, non-profits, business leaders, academics, social media influencers, and faith leaders – to enlist their help in encouraging all community members to register for vaccination, especially in high transmission neighbourhoods.

More than 274,000 of Health Canada-approved doses are expected to be delivered this week to health authorities throughout B.C. – for a total of 1,236,570 over the month of May.

People can register for a vaccine in one of three ways:
  • 24-7, online
  • by phone through a provincial call centre between 7am and 7pm (PDT), toll-free, at 1 833 838-2323
  • in person at the nearest Service BC location

Read more here

BC's vaccine supply is increasing with more than 1 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine set to arrive in May.

Register now if you're 18+ and book as soon as it’s your turn: http://gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated 
Resident Sentiment Research

Destination Canada produces a report outlining the level of ‘welcome’ that residents of each province/region are feeling towards visitors.

BC residents’ level of welcome towards visitors from nearby communities has fallen to 43% (from 62% previously) based on the latest research from April 2021. Meanwhile, provincial resident sentiment towards welcoming visitors from other parts of BC and Canada has fallen to 32% and 20% respectively. The expectation is that this sentiment will continue to shift and evolve in the weeks and months ahead as vaccination continues and as health orders and recommendations continue to be published in response to this pandemic. We will continue to keep a close eye on this for planning purposes.

Download the report here
Feds, province proposing big tourism spends in annual budgets
Both the federal and provincial governments have heard the dire message from tourism operators loud and clear, and responded in their annual budgeting—but the wildcards still surrounding COVID-19 mean the path to tourism recovery is a twisted one.

“There is no guarantee [that international travel will return in the fall], so if that doesn’t happen, we will have as difficult a year as we did last year,” Judas said. “For some it might be worse, for others it could be slightly better. It’s really difficult to predict.” 
Read the full article here

Travel restrictions cause flood of tourism cancellations
Beaches in tourism communities on the west coast of the Island were quiet over the weekend and hoteliers were busy rescheduling guests — signs that people are respecting the public health order not to travel, officials said Monday.
Read the full article here
Navigating the ever-changing future of ski tourism
A Q&A with tourism consultant and former Destination Canada CEO Greg Klassen

Read the full article here
Op-ed: Fortune favours the bold.
Are we bold enough to bid for 2030 Olympics?

Today offers a similar juncture that could see B.C. hosting the 2030 Olympics. Fortune favours the bold. Are we bold enough?

As John Furlong, head of the 2010 Games, encourages: Let’s bring the 2030 Winter Olympics to B.C. for a province-wide hosting of the events. That means you Prince George; it’s about you Vernon; it’s about you Ft. St. John; and, yes, you Vancouver and Abbotsford, Richmond and Revelstoke; and Whistler too.

Imagine this: all British Columbians shoulder to shoulder behind a grand endeavour for the well-being and enjoyment of everyone. We need a solid, shared vision now more than ever.

Read the full article here

Tell Us Your Story

We operate a small guide outfitting business located in northwest BC near Smithers and Burns Lake - Copper River Outfitters. We have been in business for the past 15 years. Our business takes guided hunting and fishing customers mostly from the US. We employ around 12-14 staff and contractors seasonally. Due to the government closures of the border we have had zero revenue and had to cancel around $450,000 in trips in 2020 and another $450,000 in 2021 if the border does not open. We have tried to pivot to Canadian customers but the market does not exist in our area. Because of that we have had zero operating revenue. On top of that, yearly fees and maintenance of our many remote camps have resulted in more loss. So far we have had company savings, but it won't last much longer. We feel that no industry has suffered the losses that guide outfitting has. Not many businesses have lost 100% of their revenue.  

To date we have received no assistance. I chose not to apply for loans as that would just further our debt load and stress level. We did apply recently for a small tourism business grant that we should get and will help with maintenance this year if we get it.    

So far future bookings have been strong for US clients. We are booked solid for several years. Most clients are vaccinated and ready to come at a moments notice. We just need the Canadian government to implement a safe travellers program for vaccinated and tested travellers. We have prepared our camps for covid protocols and safe distancing. We will continue improvements for covid if we get grant funds. Our remote wilderness settings make social distancing easy. Our staff is desperately ready to get back to work and are prepared for any covid code of conduct protocols.   

Our business and clients contribute significant funds to small rural local economies. Hotels, restaurants, taxidermists, butcher shops, fuel stations, souvenir shops, sporting goods, hardware stores are just a few small businesses our clients support. One of our largest expenses is government fees for licenses, tags, royalties, leases, rents, permits etc. Most of our clients drive up and take their meat home but some flying customers can not take it all due to airline restrictions. This meat gets donated to local first nations or families in need.  

This border restriction has been extremely devastating to our family. Having no income at all for a year is tough. Mentally what has been the biggest struggle, is no communication or path to reopening from our government. Similar businesses and friends in the US and around the world have been operating throughout the pandemic. With no issues. This has also been tough for us to see the differences in our country. As well locally many businesses have seen record years or lost nothing. It makes you wonder if we need to pivot to survive?? The governments strategy of not letting us know the plan for the border and only planning 30 days out has been really tough. Clients call everyday asking for updates but we have no good information to give them? Most do not understand the restrictions as their countries do not have similar restrictions.

As vaccinations in the US has far outpaced Canada and the cases south of the border continue to fall we are hopeful our border will open soon and we will survive. 

~Jim Lancaster

Read other submissions on our website: www.tiabc.ca/tell-us-your-story

We encourage you to write your story using the format outlined on our website. Be as candid as you feel comfortable. By telling your story, you give us permission to share the information with government. We may also call on you to tell your story through social and/or traditional media channels, as well as via industry communiques.

Please send your (maximum 2-page) summary to info@tiabc.ca

Moments of Levity

As an industry that continues to face enormous challenges during COVID-19, every once in a while 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 be published in our C-19 Bulletin each week.
Navigating, Recruiting, and Hiring of International Workers in the Age of COVID-19

Wednesday May 5th 10:00 am - 12:00 pm (PDT)

Bewildered by the complexities of immigration processes for hiring foreign workers in the age of COVID-19? We’ve got the answers and expert advice you need. Please join the Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region, managed by Destination BC, and go2HR for an engaging and informative session on Navigating the New Normal When Hiring International Workers in the age of COVID-19.

What You’ll Learn:
  • An overview and updates on requirements for federal and provincial immigration programs
  • Overview of how the requirements may impact tourism and hospitality employers as they prepare to recruit internationally
  • Practical tips, insights and resources to help navigate international recruitment processes

For more information, and to register, please visit the event page.
Thursday, May 27th 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (PDT)

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s (TIAC) 2021 Tourism Town Hall will be in British Columbia on May 27th, in collaboration with TIABC.

Local small and medium businesses owners will have the opportunity to meet with TIAC, Destination Canada and tourism partners to better understand efforts being made on national tourism issues.  

The Town Hall will 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 the rebuilding of our sector.

The Town Halls also provide a front-line forum exposure for governments, TIAC, Destination Canada and event sponsors to collaborate with small and medium-sized tourism business operators.

For more information, and to register (free), please visit the event page.
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.