January 28th 2022

Chair’s Message

In early January, as the world woke up to the reality that the holidays were over, I jumped on a plane from Kamloops to Victoria to attend an in-person BCHA board meeting. Not only was I keen to converse with my fellow board and hotel colleagues over the course of three days, I was also excited by the prospect that, while in our provincial capital, perhaps there was an opportunity to connect with government officials I had never met face-to-face.

Fortunately, my colleague Bryan Pilbeam and I were able to squeeze in a coffee with the Assistant Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport, Nick Grant, to discuss the state of our industry, amongst myriad other topics.

It was interesting to hear Nick’s perspective on what the tourism and hospitality sector needed to do to manage through the fifth wave of the pandemic and work within government’s shifting focus towards trying to keep businesses open and the economy going rather than imposing further restrictions. In that context, we spoke about something TIABC has been advocating for for months…namely industry’s desire to make better use of rapid testing, especially if it meant that large-scale events could both continue and realize full capacity once again.

I was especially encouraged by Nick’s commitment to find ways for his team to work better with us to ensure that government creates the conditions that allow BC’s visitor economy to recover and rebuild after two extremely difficult years.

Last week I also had the opportunity to join TIABC CEO Walt Judas in a virtual meeting with Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon who was the first amongst his colleagues to respond to an invitation from TIABC to meet to discuss federal issues related to tourism.

We covered a variety of topics including, but not limited to, the need for the federal government to ease travel restrictions while embracing sound practices by other countries with respect to PCR testing for international arrivals to Canada.

We acknowledged the Government of Canada’s extension of various support measures including the Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund (THRF), among others. At the same time, we pointed out the adjustments needed to THRF to allow more businesses to access these much-needed funds, but also the need to offer maximum support until at least June or beyond as opposed to reducing funds available to any one business by 50% or more starting in mid-March.

Finally, we spoke about the need for government to make some concessions or changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Working Holiday Visa program and other immigration programs and policies to allow businesses more and easier access to these integral labour pools to fill huge job vacancy gaps across our province.

MP McKinnon concluded the meeting by assuring us that the federal government has a full understanding of the challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality sector, and the critical importance our industry has to the overall national economy.

On a separate note…by now you would have received an invitation to register for the BC Tourism and Hospitality Conference in March. I am looking forward to meeting other government officials face-to-face and to seeing you there as well.

By the way, aside from my Chair’s role with TIABC and director’s role with BCHA, I also serve on the board of the BC Chamber of Commerce. From an industry advocacy perspective, I’ve got all the bases covered.
Top row: MP Ron MacKinnon (l), TIABC CEO Walt Judas. Bottom row: TIABC Chair Vivek Sharma.
Left to right: TIABC Chair Vivek Sharma, BCHA Chair Bryan Pilbeam, and Nick Grant, Assistant Deputy Minister, Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport.
Coalition of Businesses & Sector Associations Express Concern With Province's
Sick Pay Program

In a letter to Labour Minister Harry Bains, the coalition noted that the sick pay program comes at a difficult time for businesses during the height of the new Omicron wave. It's particularly challenging for businesses such as pubs and restaurants which were not closed (and thus many were ineligible for government assistance) and whose business dropped precipitously.

There are many examples of businesses experiencing functional closures and seeing a significant portion of their employees at home sick. Consequently, operationally and administratively it has been a very challenging start to the year.

One of the group's primary concerns relates to the fact that businesses and employees rely on payroll and human resources information systems to track, store and provide accurate information on use of paid sick days and payment for those days. Nearly all of these systems are based on a workplace having a common ‘employment year’ which is most often the calendar year or a business’s fiscal year.

The current wording of the ‘employment year’ definition on the Employment Standards website from the policy interpretation of Illness or Injury Leave - Act Part 6, Section 49.1 is causing confusion for employers and workers alike: “Employment year” refers to the specific employee’s employment year, based on their start date.

Most businesses remain unaware of this interpretation of the policy. In addition, there are problems faced by businesses struggling to understand how to implement paid sick leave for part-time and short-term employees.

In its letter, the coalition offered a number of recommendations for the province to consider including amending the definition of 'employment year', as well as reimbursing businesses for the additional sick days paid over the annual intended five days paid sick leave businesses understood they were required to pay.

Along with TIABC, organizations that signed a letter include BC Chamber of Commerce, Greater Vancouver BC Restaurant & Food Services Association, Restaurants Canada, go2HR, ABLE BC, BCHA, among others.
Improvements Coming to BC Parks Digital Services

BC Parks is extending an invitation to British Columbians to participate in the redesign of its digital services.

People can participate in the redesign to create a more user-friendly and inclusive online experience through bcparks.ca. A key feature of the redesign is to improve the online reservation system with expanded features. Feedback can be shared through the new test site at beta.bcparks.ca.

The new reservation service is scheduled to open March 21st and will be available through the BC Parks website. Key features will include:

  • more flexible search options to find and book a campsite;
  • maps, calendars and lists of available sites for quicker navigation;
  • saved booking preferences and locations within customer accounts; and
  • as many as five large photos per campsite.

Note: People can book a campsite at most campgrounds two months ahead of their desired arrival date. Reservations for group campsites open March 24th for the rest of the year and reservations for the popular Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit will open in early April, with availability between May and September. The Berg Lake Trail does not have an anticipated opening date due to damage caused by severe flooding in the summer.

The new BC Parks test site is live and provides a glimpse into the design work and improvements being made. New content and features will be added to the site during the coming months.

Visit the BC Parks website here.
Proof of Vaccination Extended

As anounced earlier this week, the BC Vaccine Card will remain in effect until June 30th. The vaccine card will be reviewed regularly and stopped sooner if the situation changes.

Also announced on Tuesday, sport tournaments for children and youth will resume effective February 1st. The prohibition on adult tournaments will continue to be in effect.

Both amendments will be reflected in the Public Health Order covering Gatherings and Events.
Weighing the Costs & Benefits of the 2030 Winter Games

CEO Walt Judas explained to Business in Vancouver on that there are benefits to communities that host Olympic Games, but not only during the Olympic period itself.

Click here to read the full story.
Global Survey on Perspectives of Service Delivery & Traveller Priorities

Tourism HR Canada has just released a report that provides insight to the current perspectives of the service delivery in Canada and how the travel and tourism industry should prepare itself for the future.

The report concluded that, as the visitor economy gradually recovers from the COVID crisis, addressing service disruptions will need to be balanced against safety and price sensitivity.

The following is a summary of the findings:

  • While many developed destinations consider themselves to be at the tail end of the COVID 19 pandemic, with vaccine rollouts now well underway, the disruption to the value chain as a whole is far from over.
  • According to current projections, the tourism industry in Canada is not expected to recover to 2019 levels until 2025.
  • With this challenge in mind, tourism businesses will need to prioritize and allocate their resources effectively to ensure they are able to develop their products and services to adapt to the new normal while still delivering quality in line with what travellers value.
  • Broadly speaking, the overall visitor experience remains the most important concern for international travellers in selecting a destination to travel to (unsurprisingly as this encompasses a range of factors).
  • Quality service is second only to the overall visitor experience in this regard and thus will be of paramount importance in destination recovery efforts.
  • Quality of service is particularly valuable to the lucrative Chinese market to which international destinations will have to appeal to thrive in the new global travel market in the years to come.
  • However, health and safety concerns (particularly in Britain and Australia) and price and affordability are also major concerns. Price and affordability is somewhat prioritized across destinations and this is likely driven by post COVID price sensitivity among travellers.
  • In terms of the impact of service disruption on destination selection, Canada performs well relative to other destinations, with travellers reporting relatively low impact particularly in the USA, South Korea, France and Germany.
  • China, however, is an exception to this, placing Canada as being most impacted by potential service disruption in terms of destination selection.
  • China is also one of the few countries to consider service disruption in Canada more serious than at home.

To read the full report, click here.
APPLY TODAY| Tourism Accommodation and Commercial Recreation Relief Fund

On January 14th, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport announced that eligible accommodation providers and tourism operators holding tenure and BC Parks permits will now have access to grants to alleviate fixed-cost pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights of the Program:

  1. In stream one, eligible large accommodation providers can receive up to 25% of property taxes up to a maximum of $500,000.
  2. In stream two, eligible Indigenous-owned large accommodation providers on reserve can receive 100% of BC Hydro fees, up to maximum of $200,000. Large accommodation providers include hotels, motels, resorts and lodges, including strata hotels.
  3. In stream three, eligible commercial recreation businesses can receive 100% of eligible tenure or park-use permits, to a maximum of $200,000.

Tourism businesses with tenures under the Land Act or permits under the Park Act include :
  • businesses such as wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, mountaineering, horseback riding, off-road vehicle touring, whitewater rafting and heli-skiing,
  • small destination resorts such as guest ranches or ecotourism lodges, campgrounds and outdoor recreation parks that offer activities such as waterslides and ziplines.

Note: Intake opened at 9:00 am January 17th and will close at 11:59 pm February 14th. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
REMINDER | Government Support for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

With new capacity restrictions and lockdowns being implemented across the country, Government of Canada support programs are available for tourism and hospitality businesses.

  1. Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP)
  2. Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program 
  3. Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit
  4. Local Lockdown Program
  5. Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
  6. Tourism Relief Fund

Note: If you applied for the Tourism & Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) for period 22 (October 24 to November 20, 2021), you may have been affected by an error in the calculation spreadsheet for wage and hiring support, which erroneously showed they were ineligible for the THRP when they may have been eligible.
Pandemic Recovery Survey

With the rapid rise of the Omicron variant, many BC businesses and organizations are expected to be affected by both “functional closures” and the additional cost associated with the BC paid sick leave program.

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, these issues are likely going to affect small- and medium-sized businesses throughout 2022.

The BC Chamber of Commerce has launched a Pandemic Recovery Survey to understand the actual and expected impacts of these issues on BC businesses. This quarterly survey series will inform the advocacy efforts of the BC Chamber of Commerce.
The survey will close January 31, 2022, at 4:00pm PST.
ABLE BC Welcomes New Manager of Membership and Communication

ABLE BC is pleased to announce announce that Ann Brydle has joined the organization as the new Manager of Membership and Communication. Ann comes to ABLE BC with an extensive background in liquor retail, having worked for Cascadia Liquor for several years.

"My background gives me a unique insight into the specific challenges that retailers face and will help me to serve you better, though it is my goal to ensure that all ABLE BC members feel supported."

Ann can be reached at ann@ablebc.ca

On behalf of TIABC, we wish to congratulate Ann on her new appointment and look forward to working with her moving forward.
Emilie Cayer-Huard Joins Destination BC
on One-Year Secondment

Emilie Cayer-Huard will be joining Destination BC in the acting role of Manager, Destination Development – Iconics on February 7th. Emilie is joining us from her long-time role as Destination Development & Stewardship Specialist with Kootenay Rockies Tourism.

Emilie, along with the Destination BC team and her regional colleagues at Kootenay Rockies Tourism (KRT), has been involved since day one to create 19 destination development plans for all corners of the province. Emilie has been spearheading the implementation efforts in the KR region, with success in building bridges between tourism and the economic development community, leveraging funding for communities, and developing accessibility and sustainability programming for her region, to name just a few.

On behalf of TIABC, welcome to the DBC team Emilie.

Click here to read the full announcement.
The BC Hospital Foundation (BCHF) is pleased to announce two online lotteries being held to support their charitable work, which includes providing financial assistance to hospitality workers in financial crisis due to extraordinary health conditions experienced by themselves or a family member, as well as administering a scholarship program to foster the development of the next generation of hospitality industry workers and leaders.

Last Weekend to Purchase Tickets | 20th Anniversary Lottery

The 2022 Dine Out Vancouver Festival where lottery prizes feature top local food, wine, and accommodation, as well as events and entertainment.

Tickets will be available online from January 14th to 31st. This year’s luxury prize packages offer something for everyone. The draw for prizes will take place at noon on February 1st. Partial proceeds of this lottery will be allocated to the BCHF Scholarship program and will be awarded to a student focused on tourism and hospitality.

For details on the lottery package prizes and to purchase tickets, click here.

Community Partners to Promote
Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria

The BC Hospitality Foundation and BC Restaurant and Food Services Association – Victoria Chapter have launched a lottery as part of Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria 2022, taking place from January 20th to February 6th with over 40 participating restaurants and 12 hotels offering special three-course meals and room rates.

Another fundraiser for the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF), the lottery offers bidders a chance to win prize packages that include transportation, fine dining, and luxury accommodation in Greater Victoria. There are four prize packages available. All prizes have been generously donated by Destination Greater Victoria members. Prize draws will take place at 12 p.m. on February 7th.
A BCHF scholarship will be awarded to a Greater Victoria hospitality and tourism student in May with partial proceeds from the lottery.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

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.
Pacific Destination Services | A Heartfelt Story of Support and Resiliency

In 2020, the pandemic completely shattered the business meeting and event industry. When the BC Ministry of Health approached the hospitality industry to support the Immunize BC program, #PDS was ready to make an impact in their industry and their community.

They hired 200+ industry professionals for logistical and registration services. Their team helped those folks visiting the vaccination clinics feel safe and supported. Over 175,000 vaccines were administered at various vaccination sites, helping to bring BC's first-dose immunization rates to 80% of our total provincial population.

The PDS team worked seven days a week and travelled over 500,000 kilometres setting up clinics in urban, rural and remote BC communities. Through it all, they remained inspired by the strength and resilience they saw from British Columbians and are grateful for the opportunity to serve our industry and our province.

TIABC wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to PDS as they continue to support BC's vaccine rollout program.

The following video showcases their amazing story. Please take a moment to view.

BCT&HC @ Richmond Conference Centre
March 9 - 11, 2022

This year’s theme is Kickstarting the Comeback and now more than ever, we're so excited to reconnect with our industry colleagues to learn, tackle issues, forge new relationships, celebrate, and work toward resiliency in the face of one of the hardest periods in our sector's history.

Please note, tickets will be sold separately for the following conference events:

Rev Up! Hotel Pre-Conference:
  • Taking place March 9 from 8am-1pm, Rev Up! tickets offer exclusive access to content tailored specifically for accommodators, with engaging presentations and panels from industry experts and leaders across Canada’s accommodation community.
Conference Tickets:
  • Early bird rates are available until 11:59pm PT on February 1st with member and non-member pricing options. Tickets include complete access to all three days of conference sessions, workshops, marketplace, and silent auction.
Awards Gala:
  • Reserve your spot for a celebratory evening that will recognize our province’s most exceptional products, services, experiences, and people, taking place the evening of Thursday, March 10th. Gala tickets can only be purchased by registered conference delegates.

Please register to secure your spot. A limited number of conference passes are available, so register early!

Thank you for your patience as we work out the details to ensure that we can meet health and safety requirements. The health and safety of all attendees and staff is our top priority. You can be assured that we are working closely with our event partners to ensure enhanced safety measures are in place and all guidelines from the PHO are being met.

Visit the link below to check out our registration fees and offerings as we have made a few minor adjustments due to health and safety guidelines.
Benefit from Being Part of the 2022 Tourism & Hospitality Conference

Our sponsors are critical to what makes the BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference an overwhelming success. We are proud to partner with like- minded organizations that are as passionate about the prosperity of our sector as we are. Without sponsors like you, this conference wouldn't be possible.

If your company is keen to connect with tourism and hospitality leaders and stakeholders throughout British Columbia and Canada, we encourage you to partner with us for the 2022 BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference. If you have a unique sponsorship idea that you would like to explore, please contact us. We are pleased to customize packages to meet your unique business objectives. Sponsorship is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, click the link below
Over recent years, many have experienced the pain that comes with loss as we've been forced to say goodbye to some of our most beloved colleagues and industry friends. The absence has been felt across our sector, and due to restrictions on gatherings and events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have not been able to celebrate their lives and achievements as we once would have.

At this year's BC Tourism & Hospitality Conference, we will be paying our respects through an "In Memoriam" slideshow tribute that honours all of those who have passed since we last met in person. We need your help to ensure that each of our industry friends are included.
How to Submit:
  • Please send direct submissions to info@bctourismandhospitalityconference.com
  • In your submissions, please detail the individual's:
  • First and last name
  • Title and company from their latest role
  • An image or headshot
We will be accepting submissions until Friday, February 11th.

A reminder, that due to the difficulties our industry has faced since early 2020, we will continue to extend various payment options to members this year, 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 or renew your membership with TIABC to support our important advocacy efforts on behalf of the entire visitor economy.

There is no better example of what TIABC has done for you than in the last 22-months. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic TIABC has identified your concerns, raised your voice, championed your needs, pushing for support and programs while encouraging policy changes.
webinar header f
Webinar | Tourism’s Big Shift Industry

Destination Canada invites you to join their upcoming industry webinar where they will delve deeper into the key trends outlined in their latest report, Tourism’s Big Shift: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Canada’s Tourism Industry.  

While these trends will have an impact on Canada’s travel and tourism industry as whole, this webinar will focus on the implications and opportunities for small and medium-sized tourism businesses specifically. There will be an opportunity for questions, and they welcome an open dialogue on these important new findings.

Date: February 1st at 10 am (PST)


  • Opening remarks: The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
  • Marsha Walden, President and CEO, Destination Canada  
  • Meaghan Ferrigno, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Destination Canada  

Click here to register.
Free Webinars for Tourism Business Stakeholders

Destination BC has partnered with Small Business BC to offer free access for tourism business stakeholders across the province to online education supporting COVID-19 recovery.

  1. Get Started with Email Marketing, Date: February 2nd
  2. How to Drive More Traffic to your Website, Date: February 8th

To access the webinars free of charge, register online here using coupon code DBC3034.
save the date banner
Fireside Chat with Minister Randy Boissonnault & ITAC

Join the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) for a fireside chat with the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, The Honourable Randy Boissonnault.

The discussion, moderated by ITAC’s President and CEO, Keith Henry and will include ITAC’s strategic recovery plan, Building Back Better: Strategic Recovery of Indigenous Tourism in Canada 2022-2025, the Tourism Relief Fund and ITAC’s 2022 National Indigenous Tourism Conference.

Henry will be hosting the fireside chat on his personal Facebook Live Page

Date: Thursday January 27th at 9:00 AM PST. The fireside chat will also be available to view on ITAC's Corporate Website afterwards.

Click here for updates and to participate.
Waterside Chat with Greater Victoria Harbour Authority

Join Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson and Anna Poustie, Chair of the Victoria Cruise Industry Alliance, as they discuss the operational planning that is happening in advance of the 2022 cruise season.

Date: Friday, February 11th at 2:00 pm

Click here to register.

The 2022 Cruise schedule is available here.
2022 Annual BC Economic Summit

The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) is presenting its 2022 Annual BC Economic Summit in a virtual format with the theme of Reconciliation and Resiliency - A Future for BC.

Date: April 3rd 1:30 PM  to April 5th 2:30 PM

This is an opportunity to highlight success stories, lessons learned, share cutting-edge ideas, and engage your colleagues at the premier event for economic development practitioners in British Columbia.
The lineup of speakers includes leading economic development experts and peers, panel discussions and interactive discussion forums, exhibits, BC Economic Development Awards, and virtual networking opportunities.

Click here to learn more and to register.
New Dates for IMPACT 2022 | May 8-11

The organizers of IMPACT 2022 Sustainability Travel & Tourism Conference wish to thank you for your patience awaiting this update. They are pleased to announce that IMPACT 2022 will take place from May 9-11 with a special Day of IMPACT on Sunday, May 8th (for an additional fee).

If you are already registered for IMPACT 2022/Day of IMPACT, your registration will be honoured for the new dates.

If you are unable to attend on the new dates and would like to request a refund, please email info@IMPACTnational.ca.

For more information on IMPACT and to register, click here.
Rendevous Canada - 2022

RVC+ is going hybrid in 2022! The new format will bring back in-person attendance, while also incorporating a virtual component, creating opportunities for more of industry to engage and make appointments with international buyers, travel trade media and Destination Marketing Companies.

The in-person portion of RVC+ will be a buyer-seated marketplace in Toronto, Ontario. This will be Canada’s RVC and hosted by Destination Canada and TIAC, creating an exciting opportunity to welcome international buyers back to Canada and showcase the beauty of this country, as well as the meaningful travel experiences offered across each province and territory.

Dates: May 24-27

Learn more about Rendezvous Canada 2022 here.
Free Learning Resources for
Tourism Stakeholders

TIAC launched its Elevating Canadian Experience (ECE) program to provide tourism stakeholders with free learning resources in culinary tourism and tools for the winter/shoulder seasons.

The ECE program provides content ranging from strategy development to practical tools and tips - all designed to help grow and adapt your tourism business as an operator and build tourism capacity in your region as a destination partner.

The latest module "Embracing Canada’s Winter and Shoulder Season" has been developed to assist tourism operators and destination partners in broadening the shoulders of your tourism season and provides valuable insights, worksheets, tips and strategies.

Click here to learn more and to download the Toolkit.
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.