C-19 BULLETIN - June 29, 2020

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Province Reduces Annual Licence Fee for Taxi Industry

Taxi and limousine operators will pay less to keep their vehicles on the road as part of the Province’s ongoing work to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 22nd, the annual licence renewal fee was reduced for commercial operators who hold a Passenger Directed Vehicle Authorization, which includes taxi and limousine operators. In the past, these licensees paid an annual fee of $100 per vehicle with no overall fee cap. It has been reduced to $50 per vehicle with a licence fee cap of $5,000.

Additional temporary measures to support the passenger transportation industry during the COVID-19 pandemic have also been introduced, including:
  • waiving plate fees for all operators during COVID-19
  • allowing eligible licensees to defer their passenger transportation renewal fee for up to six months
  • allowing insurance payments to be temporarily suspended for fleet and non-fleet customers
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Unofficial Border to BC-YUKON to Re-open July 1st
TIABC & TIA Yukon Issue Joint Release

With the impending opening of the border between Yukon and BC, tourism operators and officials are excited about the prospect of visitors exploring each other’s jurisdictions over the summer. Key is the fact that residents of BC will no longer be required to self-isolate upon arrival in Yukon or when they return home.

According to Blake Rogers, Executive Director of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon (TIA Yukon), it’s a great first step in helping the visitor economy regain some of the ground it lost since travel restrictions were put in place in March.

Read the full media release here .
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Intra-Provincial Travel Discouraged but Not Restricted

In a news conference last week, Premier Horgan and Dr. Henry answered a reporter's questions regarding intra-provincial travel. Here is the transcript from that exchange that might answer questions about welcoming people from other province's to British Columbia.

Reporter : Premier Horgan, what is your message to people in other parts of Canada who may want to travel to BC now that our province is entering phase three? Are people from other provinces being welcomed in BC now?
 
Horgan : Dr. Henry and I have never said that we were going to restrict the mobility rights of Canadians. We have always said, particularly with respect to people from Yukon and Alberta, our immediate neighbours, that if you did not need to be coming to British Columbia, perhaps you should stay at home.
 
Now that we are moving into phase three, our message to them would be slightly amended, to say certainly, if you are coming to British Columbia, be mindful of what British Columbians have done together to get us to a position where we can welcome people from other parts of the country.
 
Our focus right now, of course, is on making sure British Columbians can travel freely and enjoy British Columbia. But there are many border towns with Alberta. Indeed, Dr. Henry and I were talking about the Yukon opening up to British Columbians. Although there was a special amendment between the two jurisdictions, because places like Atlin, for example, depend on services in Whitehorse.
 
Although British Columbia residents spent much of their time in Yukon Territory, so the premier of Yukon and I have been working closely to make sure that those connections can be intact during this period.
 
To all those Albertans who have properties in British Columbia and spend much of their time in British Columbia, I am certain that they'll be coming for the summer and we welcome them, also being mindful that we hope they will abide by the guidance of their neighbours on how to act and comport themselves while they are here, for their safety and the safety of British Columbians.

Reporter:  As a follow-up to that, maybe Dr. Henry, if there is an unwelcome flood of tourists from other provinces or if there is a sign that there becomes COVID cases that could be traced to other provinces, is there any scenario in which BC would bring in measures that could restrict other Canadian visitors?
 
Henry:  We, from the very beginning, have not done that, for very important reasons. We have lots of reasons why people go back and forth particularly to Alberta and the Yukon, for example. We have, across the country as well, worked together to manage this pandemic, although each of us has experienced something slightly different. So I don't see us ever putting in restrictions. We haven't so far.
 
But, we want people to have their travel manners on when they come here -- make sure that they are doing what we have been doing, so that we can all stay safe in our communities here in BC and when people are going back and forth to their communities and other provinces in Canada.

Source: Premier Horgan and Dr. Henry answer the question about Canadians travelling to BC from about 30:30 to 33:15 in the video linked below:
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Fernie Welcomes Visitors with New Video



With a warm welcome to both BC and Alberta visitors, tourism operators in Fernie are open for business.

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TIABC Media Engagement Continues

Walt Judas was interviewed last week on CKNW to discuss the three weeks since his Tourism Week op-ed and the state of the industry.
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Destination BC Summer Campaign

In alignment with Phase 3 of BC's Restart Plan, Destination BC will be launching a new chapter of its successful Explore BC campaign: an extensive domestic marketing campaign encouraging BC residents to plan and book their trips for travel throughout the province. This will be followed by a campaign to encourage and promote travel from Alberta and other parts of Canada.

The campaign is designed to promote safe travel practices, re-ignite BC’s tourism industry revenue, promote BC tourism businesses and destinations, and rekindle British Columbians’ curiosity and passion for the place they live. In addition to trip planning, inspiration and booking assistance, Destination BC will utilize its channels to help BC residents understand what’s open and what they need to know before they go, including responsible traveller behaviour.

To help you support our collective voice in the campaign, Destination BC has created an  Explore BC Recovery Marketing Campaign Industry Playbook  to provide tourism partners with information, ideas, and tools to amplify Explore BC using three content pillars: Rediscover, Re-assure, Reconnect. 

Destination BC encourages everyone to learn more about their campaign in their  June 25 industry call  recording, when Maya Lange, Destination BC's VP of Global Marketing, joined to discuss the details.
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Kootenay Rockies Resident Survey

As BC moves into Phase 3 of re-opening the province to travel, the tourism businesses in the Kootenay Rockies region, represented by Community Destination Marketing Organizations and Kootenay Rockies Tourism, are seeking to understand their residents' level of comfort with visiting local businesses, travelling and welcoming visitors to their community.
 
The Kootenay Rockies region welcomes 2.3 million overnight visitors annually, which is approximately 11% of total visitors to BC total. On average, 50% of visitors are from Alberta, with a proportion reaching 70% for the eastern side of the region.

Each year, visitors bring $725,000,000 in visitor spending, which translates to approximately $2.5 billion in tourism revenue. Over 7,300 people are employed in the tourism industry, which also provides countless cultural, social and recreational benefits to the region, and some services enjoyed by residents that could not be sustained without the influx of visitors.
 
All residents in the Kootenay Rockies Tourism region, are asked to consider taking the  Resident Survey  to help plan for the recovery of the tourism industry. This survey will only take 5 to 8 minutes and is open until July 5th.

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COVID-19 Resources

WorkSafeBC has undertaken several initiatives to support stakeholders to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in BC workplaces, including:
  • The development of a COVID-19 Safety Plan app and new resources and protocols
  • Data on injured-worker claims and prevention and enforcement activities, to help track BC’s health and safety progress
  • Premium relief for employers impacted by the pandemic
For more resources, information, and industry specific protocols please  view here .
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Destination BC Webinars

Destination BC is hosting a series of webinars to support BC’s tourism industry in areas of response, recovery, and resilience from COVID-19. The Road to Recovery webinar series has reached over 1,700 participants since launching on May 12th.

  • July 7: Revisiting your COVID-19 Safety Plan | Register here

Watch recordings of previous webinars:
  • May 12: Business After Re-opening: A Look at the Post-closure Traveller | View recording here
  • May 14: Essential Strategies to Innovate your Visitor Experience and Offerings | View recording here
  • May 19: Planning for Doors Open | View recording here
  • May 21: Managing Expectations and Reputation through Effective Communication | View recording here
  • May 26: Using Social Media to Support Re-opening | View recording here
  • May 28: Building a Digital Marketing Strategy for Re-opening | View recording here
  • June 4: ExploreBC… Virtually | View recording here
  • June 9: Restart Safely: Health & Safety Essentials to Support Re-opening | View recording here
  • June 11: Work Refusal & Other HR Challenges Amid the Restart | View recording here
  • June 16: SEO in Uncertain Times: How it can Help Recovery Efforts | View recording here
  • June 18: Adapting Customer Service & Guest Communication in a Pandemic Impacted Business Environment | View recording here
  • June 25: Returning to Work: Protecting Mental Health | View recording 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.