C-19 BULLETIN - January 11, 2021

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BC Government News

PHO Order on Province-wide Restrictions
By order and direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all events and social gatherings are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions and travel. 

The order is in effect until midnight February 5th. 

Province Makes Changes to Simplify, Clarify Emergency Orders
The Province is fine-tuning compliance and enforcement provisions for orders on face coverings, gatherings and events, and food and liquor serving premises.

These changes are designed to provide greater clarity and certainty for enforcement officers and violators who are ticketed under the orders.  

The orders fall under the Emergency Program Act. These changes simplify the language and make the orders, and what constitutes a contravention, easier to understand.
The intent of the orders remains unchanged and will continue to allow violation tickets to be issued to non-compliant persons, owners and operators, and hosts to ensure public safety and alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes include:
  • more clarity around the specific prohibitions found in public health orders for gatherings and events and for food and liquor serving premises; and
  • an amended face coverings order, with an additional exemption for persons who need to remove a face covering to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired. No other substantive policy changes have been made.

British Columbians are reminded under current public health orders, police and provincial enforcement officers can issue:
  • $2,300 tickets to hosts/organizers who do not comply with the provincial health officer’s (PHO) orders;
  • $230 tickets to patrons/attendees who do not comply with the PHO orders;
  • $230 tickets for contravening the face coverings order; and
  • $230 tickets for abusive or belligerent behaviour and/or for refusing to comply with the direction of enforcement officers.

In addition, courts can impose penalties of up to $10,000 and/or up to one-year imprisonment for egregious offences.

For information on all recent orders and guidance, as well as general COVID-19 information for all British Columbians, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
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Minister Mark Acknowledges Tourism Task Force

On December 24th, Minister Mark sent a letter to the Tourism Task Force thanking the members for their significant work over the past three months.

The Tourism Task Force delivered the Final Report three weeks in advance of the year-end deadline, providing the BC Government the opportunity to announce $5M in emergency grant funding to be administered by Indigenous Tourism BC, and $100M in dedicated tourism specific funding through the Small-and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program.

Read the full letter here.
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Outfitters Press for Border Mobility

Last month, the Canadian Federation of Outfitter Associations wrote to the federal Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair regarding the need for border mobility and multiple ideas to facilitate this such as the Safe Traveller Plan and the Alternative Self-Isolation Plan.

The closure of the United States/Canada border has been devastating for the outfitting industry, as the majority of their clients come from international destinations. A preliminary survey conducted in March 2020 estimated an economic impact of $1.482B in gross economic activity, $833M to gross domestic product (GDP), and 21,716 jobs. Total lost federal government revenues are estimated at $99.6M. Contrast this with the 2018 study from Southwick and Associates which indicated that the outfitting industry normally contributes $2.7 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product and supports over 37,000 jobs nationwide. 

Furthermore, a compounding problem is the border closures continuing to roll forward in 30-day increments. As a result, small and medium-sized enterprises do not know whether the borders will be open or closed, whether they should be investing resources to prepare, and whether they will be able to honour their existing contracts. 

Read the full letter here.
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Latest Tourism Labour Stats
Continued Decline in Workers

Both the seasonally adjusted and seasonally unadjusted labour force data shows decreases in employment this past December. The adjusted data reports employment in Canada dropped by 63,000, while the unadjusted data shows a much steeper loss of 113,900.
 
Data is from the week of December 6 to 12.
 
In the tourism sector, employment dropped by 56,700, a decline of 5.4% from NovemberThis is the third month of employment declines for the sector as a whole. The only industry group that added employment was travel services.
 
The tourism unemployment rate increased from 13.9% to 14.6%. The number of unemployed tourism workers rose, while at the same time the total tourism labour force (all employed and unemployed workers) shrank. This is the second month in a row in which the tourism labour force declined.

In December, the tourism sector employed 466,900 fewer people than it did in February 2020 and 521,300 fewer people than in December 2019. On a year-over-year basis, the accommodation industry has seen the greatest percentage decrease in employment.

For more information on the labour trends, see the Employment Tracker tool: 
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OPINION: Hoping for Broader Support and Better Days Ahead for Tourism Sector

Now as we turn the page on 2020, there is room for optimism
By Anthony Everett, Vice Chair – BC Regional Tourism Secretariat

There is no sugar-coating the fact that 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for businesses that are the lifeblood of our tourism industry. For many, it’s been a year in which they have simply tried to keep their heads above water while watching the collapse of the visitor economy and hoping for some semblance of normalcy and viability in 2021.
The B.C. Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) and its five regional tourism associations represent more than 8,000 tourism-related businesses that include everything from adventure tourism operators, restaurants, accommodators, to campground operators and artists.

... read the full article at:
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Kootenay Rockies Tourism is Seeking Feedback
from Local Residents on Travel Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kootenay Rockies Tourism (KRT), the regional destination management organization for south-eastern BC, is seeking to measure the resident’s level of comfort with visiting local businesses, welcoming visitors to their community and travel intentions and motivations.
 
This survey is a part of on-going research to monitor residents’ current views on travel and tourism. This is the second release of this online survey, with the results from July 2020 being published in this report.
 
Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in the Kootenay Rockies region. The destination welcomes 2.3 million overnight visitors annually, which is approximately 11% of total visitors to BC. On average, 50% of the visitors are from Alberta, with a proportion reaching 70% for the eastern side of the region.

Each year, visitors bring $725,000,000 in spending, which translates to approximately $2.5 billion in tourism revenue. Over 7,300 people work in the Kootenay Rockies tourism sector.

If you are a resident of this region, please consider taking the Resident Survey to help Kootenay Rockies Tourism plan the recovery of the tourism industry.

This survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and is open from January 11th to 18th inclusively.
Take the survey here
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Mark Your Calendars
BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference
TIABC and the BC Hotel Association will be co-hosting the BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference (virtually) during the week of March 8th to 12th, 2021.
Stay tuned for more details soon.
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Webinar Summary Report

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC), the Future Borders Coalition (FBC) and the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) organized the Paths to Recovery Webinar on December 8th. A Webinar Summary Report has been produced and provides the highlights of discussions, proposed solutions and next steps.
 
CAC, FBC and NACC are committed to achieving border restrictions based on health science criteria and a safe recovery of air travel through a layered health screening approach that will eliminate or significantly reduce the need for quarantine. Through collective efforts, we can ensure irreparable damage is not done to the sector, and that in 2021 aviation can play a critical role in safely supporting Canada’s economic recovery.

Download the Webinar Summary Report here
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Tourism Kamloops Podcast

Tourism Kamloops hosts a LUV'N THE LOOPS podcast series. They ended 2020 with their final podcast - #80

Tourism Kamloops CEO, Beverley DeSantis wraps up 2020 with Christina Pilarski and Jason Hewlett and explores the Value of Tourism in 2021.
Listen to the podcast here
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Destination BC Webinars

Virginie De Visscher, Senior Director of business development, Economic Sectors, will share details on the economic sector tactical plans and Jennifer Attersall, Director, Incentive Travel, will provide a deep dive on Destination Canada's incentive market plans.

Marketing Manager, Nancy Steward, will join both webinars to share the marketing plans, including partner co-investment opportunities. These webinars will include details on planned sales activations, how to use partner toolkits, strategic partnerships, and how the Destination Canada Business Events team will be working with Canadian partners to keep Canada top-of-mind within our audience.
Each webinar will include a presentation and ample time to answer your questions.

Economic Sector Canadian Partner Webinar
January 18th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM (PST)

Incentive Canadian Partner Webinar
January 19th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM (PST)

For more information and to register, click here
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What It Takes to Restart Canada’s Tourism Workforce

Tourism HR Canada has been tracking the impacts of COVID on the tourism workforce, and the fallout on GDP and consumer confidence. Other research in collaboration with the Conference Board focuses on labour projections: by sector, by region, and more. Tourism is facing staggering employment losses that far exceed the overall economy, and projections suggest these losses will hamper the sector's ability to rebound and recover from COVID.

Join Tourism HR Canada for the most up-to-date data on workforce trends, what to anticipate for labour challenges over the next year, and recommendations on policies and programs to help the sector restart its workforce. The session will be one hour in duration.

 
To see the last ‘state of the workforce’ update (September 2020), visit: tourismhr.ca/2020/09
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Join the BC Hotel Association for their upcoming webinar with FRESCo and learn about free energy efficiency upgrades, free energy assessments, engineering support, and rebates available!

FRESCo offers a free Fortis BC Program and is now available for hotels. The program will help you improve your overall energy efficiency, save money, save resources, and maximize your return on investments.

Tuesday, January 19th at 1:00pm PT

Hosted by Jordan Fisher, President of FRESCo Building Efficiency B.Sc., LEED® AP, RPP, MCIP
This webinar will be 45 minutes in length with 15 minutes Q&A.
Register here
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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.