C-19 BULLETIN - September 14, 2020

Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses

TIABC's national counterparts, The Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada has created a coalition of Canada’s hardest hit businesses in an effort to urge the Federal Government to extend the wage subsidy program until Spring/Summer 2021, as well as increasing the subsidy base rate for the hardest hit businesses. The goal is to secure this additional CEWS coverage in the upcoming Budget.

The campaign will be both public and government facing and is designed to apply pressure at a pivotal moment as the Government launches its new mandate this fall. 

The definition of “hardest hit” includes those with revenue losses of 50% or more which both aligns with the Government’s keen interest in sector agnostic programming, and covers most businesses in the tourism, hospitality and hotel sectors.

TIABC has added our name to the list of partners on this initiative. Learn more about how to get involved at: www.hardesthit.ca
August Tourism Industry Survey Results

The British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat, British Columbia Hotel Association and the British Columbia Destination Marketing Organizations Association are continuing to leverage their collective business network to collect, collate, and report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism businesses and to gather feedback on potential response and recovery measures.

Key issues for consideration:
• Being able to operate during the summer season has been extremely helpful to most tourism businesses, as they have been able to claw back some of the lost revenue from the pandemic. However, cumulative losses remain high for many firms, and the benefits of summer opening has been uneven across regions and business types.
•25% of firms are operating with business as usual, which is lower than the 36% national average for hospitality firms
•58% of firms saw a decrease of at least 25% in year-over-year revenue so far
•Firms in remote locations reported the largest number of layoffs, while rural firms reported the weakest rehiring numbers
•Approximately 58,290 employees have been laid off across the 5 tourism regions since the pandemic began
•10% of rural firms do not plan on operating in 2021 due to reasons related to the pandemic.

Download the full report here.
Sea to Sky Gondola Cable Cut Again

TIABC and the entire BC tourism and hospitality sector supports and stands with our friends at the Sea to Sky Gondola where a second act of vandalism occurred this morning when the main cable was cut.

The same thing happened at the popular tourist attraction near Squamish on August 10th last year damaging more than 30 gondola cars and causing between $5 million and $10 million in damage. The Gondola re-opened February 14th before having to close down again due to COVID-19. It re-opened at reduced capacity in late May.
Fire Destroys Popular Spot for Tourists

A massive fire on Sunday engulfed a portion of Westminster Pier Park in New Westminster, a popular place for both residents and visitors, destroying the oldest parts of the pier. Flames tore through the eastern end of the waterfront boardwalk, near the foot of the SkyBridge across the Fraser River.

Province Partners with Huu-ay-aht First Nations to Improve Bamfield Road Safety

Huu-ay-aht First Nations and the Province have partnered to make vital safety improvements to Bamfield Road.

The 76-kilometre stretch of unpaved industrial road on the west coast of Vancouver Island has been the site of numerous serious accidents over the years, claiming the lives of Huu-ay-aht members, as well as two University of Victoria students in a 2019 bus crash.

The road is the main transportation link between Port Alberni and the communities of Bamfield and Anacla for medical, emergency and community access for Huu-ay-aht First Nations members, Bamfield residents, forest companies and their employees, and tourists. It is also the key route to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.

Aside from a detailed submission by Tourism Vancouver Island in support of this project, TIABC also provided a letter of support to encourage this initiative.

Royal Roads University piloted the Tackling COVID-19 Resource Forum in early April. As a volunteer team of Royal Roads University faculty, industry professionals, and students, they have focused on providing free access to practical information and, more importantly, to provide a forum for discussion and to crowdsource innovative ideas and solutions. The team is building on this good work for another few months, exploring the issues and topics most relevant to the sector in the short, medium, and long term.

The BC Resource Forum is offering panel presentations on some key topics. Here are the first three:
  • September 24: Shifting Operations: Perspectives from Three Hoteliers
  • October 8: Marketing with Scarce Resources: Insights from Tour Operators
  • October 22: Business Recovery: Viewpoints from Financial Advisors

Each 45-minute session will take place at 1:30pm PT. You can access at the guest link found here. To register for a login, contact Geoff.2bird@royalroads.ca.

Cheryl MacKinnon hosts Walt Judas to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry.

Watch on YouTube at:

Manage your Online Presence: Tripadvisor and HelloBC.com
September 30th and January 13th
Walk through the process step-by-step to claim, create, and optimize your business listings on Tripadvisor and HelloBC.com. 

Get Your Local Business on Google Search and Maps
October 7th and January 20th
Explore Google My Business and connect with customers through Google Search and Maps. Get hands-on help creating or updating your business profile in this Grow with Google Webinar. 

Get the Most Out of Your Website
October 14the and January 27th
Whether you’ve had a website for 10 years or you’re just getting started, discover how to create a search-friendly website that drives user action and supports your goals. 
October 2nd

October 7th
(call for Board Nominations open until September 11th)

CCCTA/TOTA AGM & Conference
October 26th-27th

September 21st-25th

November 17th-18th
TIABC's C-19 Bulletin is published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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.