C-19 BULLETIN - May 31, 2021


Tourism Week Support Shines Light on the Need for Recovery of Canada's Tourism Economy

While it was just one week, this year’s salute to the tourism economy, “Tourism Week in Canada” has left its glowing green mark from coast to coast to coast.

Tourism is not just a one-week phenomenon; it is a 24/7 economic generator for Canada, a vital part of this country’s cultural ecosystems, and impacts every region and community.

Tourism Week in Canada wrapped up with a new sense of optimism as regions of Canada announced their pandemic re-opening plans giving operators a target date to start preparing and retooling to welcome visitors. While much remains to be done, there are positive signs that the freeze on travel is starting to thaw.

The Tourism Week campaign was launched by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) with its provincial and territorial tourism industry association partners, including the Tourism Industry Association of BC, and ran from May 23 to 30.

Before the pandemic struck, travel in Canada generated $105 billion in economic activity, accounting for 2.3% of the country’s GDP. In 2019, the travel and tourism industry was responsible for employing 1.8 million workers in that year. Prior to COVID-19, the tourism economy in Canada was the fifth largest, responsible for one in 10 jobs.

Overnight, the pandemic impacted the industry and many Canadian tourism businesses have been badly hurt by the economic hardships. The tourism economy has lost over half a million jobs and unemployment in the industry has surpassed the national unemployment rate, says a report by Tourism HR Canada.

“Every community in Canada has been impacted by the tourism industry’s crisis which is why, when restrictions are lifted, we encourage Canadians to support our industry and spend their tourism dollars in Canada,” says Beth Potter, the President and CEO of TIAC.

Recent research from Destination Canada found that if Canadians shift two-thirds of their planned spend on international leisure travel towards domestic tourism, it will make up for the forecasted $19 billion shortfall currently facing the visitor economy – and help sustain 150,000 jobs.

“TIAC has been advocating for sector-specific support for the industry since the onset of the pandemic. Many of our operators face different scenarios and needs which means they fall through the cracks for some of the government support programs. It’s a problem we address with federal officials on a regular basis and present recommended solutions,” said Potter.

Any revival for the industry must include a plan to reopen international borders, both with the U.S. and offshore. TIAC and TIABC are calling for a plan to open international borders as soon as can safely be allowed.

Potter noted that tourism businesses cannot be restarted at a moment’s notice, and that they need time to re-contract, re-market, re-tool and re-hire. Hence the call for a defined timeline of a government plan to reopen the borders.

Read the full update here.
BC's Restaurants Need Sector-Specific Survival Package to Bring Back 45,300 Jobs

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 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.

According to the latest survey data from Restaurants Canada:

  • 8 out of 10 foodservice businesses have been operating at a loss or barely scraping by throughout the entire pandemic, with 45% consistently losing money for more than a year.
  • 7 out of 10 restaurant operators continuing to lose money expect they’ll need at least a year to return to profitability.

Restaurants Canada is calling on the federal government to immediately introduce a sector-specific Restaurant Survival Support Package containing the following measures:

  • An exemption from the scheduled scale-back of the rent and wage subsidies for the highly affected foodservice sector, and an extension of these vital programs for restaurants until at least April 2022.
  • The option for any restaurants eligible for the wage subsidy to also apply for added funding through the Canada Recovery Hiring Program.
  • Partial forgiveness for all government-backed loans and an extension of application deadlines for existing programs.
  • Tax credits to defray costs of COVID-19 health and safety expenditures.

Click here.

National AccessAbility Week 

Celebrate National AccessAbility Week (May 30 – June 5) to recognize and honour the valuable contributions of Canadians with disabilities and promote the benefits of inclusion and diversity within our workplaces and communities.

The national virtual event is also a time to highlight the efforts of individuals, communities and organizations that are actively working to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion, while encouraging and inspiring others to do the same.

In line with public health restrictions, activities to celebrate National AccessAbility Week will be virtual, so we encourage you to utilize your social media platforms as much as possible. You can find suggested messaging and promotion visuals in the NAAW 2021 Stakeholder Toolkit and join the conversation by following and sharing posts from @AccessibleGC and @AccessEmployers on Twitter, and from Accessible Canada on Facebook.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 2, which is Red Shirt Day, an Easter Seals initiative to raise awareness and promote dialogue about accessibility and inclusion. By wearing red on Red Shirt Day, you can help create a visible display of solidarity to show support for persons and families who are living with disabilities, celebrate their achievements, and pledge your commitment to help create a fully accessible and inclusive society that values the contributions of people of all abilities.

TIABC, along with our industry partners continues to work to support a province that is accessible, inclusive and welcoming to all. Destination BC's “Toward an Inclusive and Accessible British Columbia Tourism Industry” is a three-year strategic framework and action plan that aims to build capacity within the industry and champion meaningful tourism employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

We encourage you to browse both these resources to help champion inclusion and accessibility throughout BC.
Update from MP Blake Richards

Dear Tourism Partners,

As Tourism Week came to a conclusion, it was apparent that this year’s celebration of this great industry was a little different. Unfortunately, it was not to celebrate significant milestones like in the past such as record-breaking visitor numbers, or another new tourism award.

Instead it was to celebrate the resilience of the tourism industry to survive, persist, and without a doubt to thrive once again despite the great challenges the pandemic has placed upon it.

Highlighting Tourism in Parliament
Last week, together with my colleague Member of Parliament Tony Baldinelli, who is Special Advisor to the Conservative Leader on Tourism Recovery, we had a chance to once again highlight the industry and its current difficulties and ensure that the government provides the proper tools to weather this pandemic storm and navigate to sunnier post-recovery days.

Federal Expert Advisory Panel Report
The federal Government’s Expert Advisory Panel established by the Minister of Health recently released another report with new recommendations for travellers arriving and entering Canada.
These include new recommendations for travellers entering Canada based on whether they are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or fully-vaccinated.

It recommends that fully-vaccinated travellers no longer need to quarantine, which if implemented by the federal Government, would be welcome news to the tourism industry. You can read more about the report and these recommendations here.

Blake Richards, MP
Official Opposition Whip
TIABC Chair, Vivek Sharma elected to BC Chamber of Commerce 2021-2022 Board of Directors

On May 27th, the BC Chamber of Commerce announced their 2021-2022 Board of Directors. The following are the new and returning directors to the 2021-22 Board of Directors of the BC Chamber of Commerce:

  • Vivek Sharma, CEO, Fairmont Hot Springs – Kootenays – newly elected
  • Arlene Rolston, Corporate Secretary, Port of Nanaimo – Vancouver and Gulf Islands – elected incumbent
  • Manpreet Dhillon, CEO, Veza – Director at Large – newly appointed
  • Katy Player, Senior Vice President, Canfor – Director at Large – newly appointed
  • Julie Ziebart, Partner, MNP – Director at Large – newly appointed
  • Colleen Clark, CEO, Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce – new BC Chamber Executives representative

Vivek is currently the Chair of Tourism Industry Association of BC, member of the Board of Directors of the BC Hotel Association & Kootenay Rockies Tourism. Additionally, Vivek serves on the Advisory Council for the Thompson Rivers University Tourism and Hospitality Program, and the Deans Advisory Council for the School of Business. He also served as a member of the Advisory Council, Regional HR Committee for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Vivek is constantly focused on supporting growth and progress for all businesses in the region.

A full list of the BC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors can be viewed here.
REO Resort Wins Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice Award for Seventh Consecutive Year

REO Rafting, Glamping and Yoga Resort is happy to announce that they’ve been recognized as a 2021 Travelers’ Choice Award winner, a most prestigious award from TripAdvisor. The Resort has been frequently described as a hidden gem due to its remote location, the beautiful surrounding mountainscape, the Nahatlatch River running alongside, and the unique experience of sleeping in Glamping tents above the river. TripAdvisor announced that REO is among the top 10% of resorts globally and among a small number of adventure-style resorts in North America to receive this award.

This annual Traveler’s Choice Award celebrates businesses that consistently deliver fantastic experiences to travelers around the globe, having earned amazing reviews from happy visitors online through Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year was, REO Resort stood out by continuously delighting guests. This award was previously known as the “Certificate of Excellence.”

Based on a full year of reviews from customers, this award speaks to the great service and experience you provided guests in the midst of a pandemic."

For more information on REO Resort please visit here.
SKY Helicopters Offers Unique Fraser Valley Winery Experience

TIABC member SKY Helicopters and the Joseph Richards Group are offering a unique visitor experience at the Fraser Valley's Glass House Estate Winery.

Departing from SKY Hangar at Pitt Meadows Regional Airport, your flight whisks you over the historic Fraser River towards the renowned wine region of South Langley. Enjoy spectacular views to the east of the Cascade mountains and to the west of Boundary Bay, Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia.

Upon arrival at Glass House Estate Winery, you will be welcomed by JRG's Beverage Director & Sommelier, Rob Carras or a WSET Trained Wine Expert for a wine tasting and private tour of the vineyard to learn about the varietals. Following the vineyard stroll, you’ll be treated to a private picnic that includes customized share plates, charcuterie, and choice of wine before boarding your helicopter for the flight back.

Check here for more information about the tour.

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, and DMOs that been TIABC members for more than 10 years.


Helijet has been an active participant in BC's economic growth for nearly three decades. In 1986, Helijet launched Canada’s first scheduled helicopter service wth a single helicopter and a handful of enthusiastic employees. The operation includes four aircraft configured for air ambulance work: two S-76A helicopters and the two newly acquired Beechcraft 200 Super King Airs.

Today, Helijet has grown into a dynamic company with operations in Richmond, Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.

Click here to learn more about this long standing member.
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.

Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery & Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grants

Wednesday June 2nd - 9:30am to 10:30am (PDT)
This webinar presented by TIABC with the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation will be an information session for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery and Circuit Breaker Business Relief grants.

Learn more about these fully funded grant programs available to eligible businesses in BC, to ensure they have the support they need during and beyond COVID-19.
Hosted by Liz Vickery, Executive Director, Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. Liz is leading the implementation of the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery and Circuit Breaker Business Relief grants. Previously

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.
This webinar is sponsored by our partners
at Fortis BC.
Canadian Media Consumption
Fact vs. Myth

Join us Thursday June 3rd as TIABC welcomes our guests from Rogers Sports & Media. This webinar will take you through a Canadian broadcast overview – the facts and myths on media consumption - and show you where to find Canadian travellers.

10am to 11am (PDT)
15 minutes of Q&A at end of session

Webinar Outline:
  • What are the media habits of the Canadian traveller?  
  • Where do you find them and how do you speak to them?
  • Learn about the latest industry tools including leading edge digital solutions.
  • Also see new research from a fresh Rogers/Angus Reid study on Canadian attitudes and plans toward travel post-pandemic.
  • Informed with the latest facts, trends and insights, participants will be in better position to sharpen their strategies and drive elevated results. This vast product line and insights allows clients to deliver smarter strategic solutions to drive their business.

Brad Kubota - VP Local and Regional Sales Canada – Rogers Sports and Media. Based in Vancouver, Brad has over 30 years of national, regional and local sales experience. He represents a wide range of sports and media assets and tools including TV, radio, digital, out of home and research.

Peter Kambo – Senior Manager Media Insights. Peter’s extensive Vancouver agency experience provides clients with best in class media strategy, planning and buying expertise. While agency side his long list of clients included GM, Bell, BCLC, BC Honda and Destination BC.

Dan Lessons – Western Canada Digital and Out of Home Sales Manager. Dan began his advertising career in publishing in London.  Now based in Vancouver and with Rogers for 10 years, he designs and oversees national, regional and local digital strategies for all levels of marketing needs.
This webinar is sponsored by our partners
at Fortis BC.
Learn more and register here
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.