May 5, 2021
Since our last Covid-Update, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has continued to push ahead on several advocacy fronts and revisited our 2021 Tourism Recovery Document
. Industry conditions continue to change and our recommendations and efforts need to shift and adapt.
Over the last few weeks, TIAC hosted two Tourism Town Halls where operators have had the opportunity to share issues and concerns. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) continues to be a subject of extreme importance. TIAC is actively advocating for further extension of the CEWS as well as addressing the proposed declining rate of support. Our industry is not going to rebound overnight and travel within Canada will not replace the lost revenue due to border closures and a halt to international travel. We are asking that support like wage subsidization continues through to a time when the operators have a minimum and consistent flow of revenue and a defined level of travel has resumed.
If you haven't registered to attend a Tourism Town Hall
; I encourage you to do so. You will hear about TIAC's advocacy efforts and our work on the proposed vaccine travel pass, how we are tackling program gaps, rebuilding consumer travel confidence, and championing the reopening of borders.
TIAC is also leading the national campaign for Tourism Week in Canada from May 23 - 30 and will be sharing resources on the Tourism Counts
site. Tourism Week is a seven-day event to recognize Canada’s tourism economy, and the impact it has on every community across the country. We are calling on Canadians to take the 2021 Tourism Pledge to travel In Canada. An invitation to come together as a country and support our local tourism destinations, businesses, and employees.
As your National industry voice, we are committed to ensuring your issues and concerns are heard, now and always. Please continue to share your stories and keep us informed by emailing Beth@tiac.aitc.ca
On a final note, I would ask if you are not a TIAC Member, please join
. We need your engagement and support. Our success begins with you.
President & CEO
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
Dear Tourism Stakeholders,
The TIAC Team is pleased to provide you with this update on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including the steps government is taking to address the situation, as well as highlights of our recent advocacy efforts. We are working hard to make sure the industry’s voice is heard by government, and that you have the information you need to keep your business going in these uncertain times.
Please find the latest updates on official announcements and a recap of TIAC’s advocacy work on behalf of Canada’s Visitor Economy:
The TIAC team has been analyzing the 700+ page budget
after its release last month, and there are a number of programs that impact our sector. We are working to meet with federal officials to understand the details of these programs, particularly the Tourism Relief Fund
, and will share with industry as we are able. We also continue to refine our advocacy messaging for those pieces that were not addressed in the budget.
We remain committed to ensuring we are at the table to guide the efficient and effective roll out of proposed support and relief programs for tourism businesses.
Today, TIAC presented to the Conservative Tourism Recovery Caucus Advisory Committee where we shared our reaction to the budget, and our requests for sector specific recognition in these program details.
TIAC is also hosting a series of virtual Tourism Town Halls
in partnership with Destination Canada, and the local host partners. These are opportunities for local small and medium-sized business owners to meet with TIAC, Destination Canada and tourism partners to better understand efforts being made on national tourism issues.
Tourism Town Halls allow tourism operators to provide first-hand input on issues affecting their business and the tourism industry in this time of COVID and provide feedback on government policy for the recovery and rebuilding of our sector. They also provide a front-line forum exposure for governments, TIAC, Destination Canada and event sponsors to collaborate with small and medium-sized tourism business operators.
- Prince Edward Island – May 6
- Newfoundland and Labrador – May 10
- New Brunswick – May 11
- Nunavut – May 14
- Quebec – May 25
- Alberta – May 26
- British Columbia – May 27
- Ontario – June 1
- Saskatchewan – TBD in June
- Nova Scotia – TBD
- NWT – No session scheduled at this time
Our members are our priority. Please reach out with any comments or questions on advocacy initiatives to firstname.lastname@example.org
President and CEO, Beth Potter, spoke to 105.9 The Region last week, a York Region radio station, on the state of the industry and how to support the industry moving forward.
- The national vaccine panel has advised Health Canada that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be offered to Canadians aged 30 and older: https://bit.ly/3h4sbNo
- All Indigenous adults, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Manitoba are now eligible for age-approved vaccines (Moderna & Pfizer-BioNTech): https://bit.ly/33f53Uo
- More than 40% of eligible Toronto residents have now received 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine: https://bit.ly/2PNWIDX
Canada to align policy on vaccine passports with international community
- At Tuesday’s COVID-19 press briefing, Prime Minister Trudeau indicated that the federal government will align Canada’s vaccine certification process for traveling with international allies.
- A recent Ipsos poll for the World Economic Forum has found that 75% of people spanning 28 countries agree that COVID-19 passports should be required for entering their countries and would be effective in making large events safe.
- Although mostly speculative, Trudeau also said that Canadians may be able to travel outside of the country as soon as this summer.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/3tmlyIW
COVID-19 Immunity Task Force expert predicts vaccination threshold to ease restrictions
- Dr. Timothy Evans, the Executive Director for the federal government’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, gave an early estimate on herd immunity and a threshold for easing restrictions when speaking in front a House of Commons Health Committee meeting.
- Although Evans indicated that Canada is a long way off from understanding an exact herd immunity threshold, he predicts that the country will need to reach 50-60% vaccinated before beginning to dial down public health measures.
- Canada currently stands at approximately 33% of the population having received their first dose.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/3xJYJ5e (article is for Hill Times subscribers only)
Ontarians 18+ in 114 hot spots eligible to book vaccine
- As of May 3, Ontario is allowing everyone 18+ who lives in one of the province’s 114 COVID-19 hot spots to book a vaccine appointment.
- For the next two weeks, Ontario will be diverting 50% of their vaccine supply to hot spots.
- Hot spot neighborhoods are located in regions across the province and a full list can be found here.
No check stops to be implemented at Alberta-B.C. border
- Despite new restrictions and a ban on travel for non-essential purposes, the B.C. government will not be implementing check stops for those crossing the Alberta-B.C. provincial border.
- The B.C. government has indicated that restrictions would not be feasible, but encourages all individuals in both provinces to remain in their own communities unless permitted to leave for essential purposes.
- The B.C. government has set a target of the May long weekend to ease restrictions by getting 60% of their residents one dose of the vaccine.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/3aYDi6E
Saskatchewan extends the Small Business Emergency Payment Program (SSBEP)
- The Government of Saskatchewan will be extending the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment program an additional month to support small businesses during the ongoing pandemic.
- The program is intended to help businesses that have been closed or have had to curtail their operations as a result of public health orders.
- The maximum payment per eligibility period is $5,000 and the current period will go until May 31, 2021 (Apr. 1 start of period).
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/2QRsCjl
Government of Saskatchewan releases their “Re-Opening Roadmap”
- The Government of Saskatchewan’s Re-Opening Roadmap provides a three-step plan for gradually lifting public health restrictions in the province.
- Each stage of the re-opening plan is tied to a vaccination threshold, further incentivizing members of the population to get vaccinated.
- If vaccination targets are met, it is estimated that Saskatchewan will reach step three by the second week of July.
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/3eUui3H
Nova Scotia lowers vaccine eligibility for people aged 50 to 54
- Beginning May 3, people aged 50 and older can book appointments for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at clinics across the province.
- Appointments will be released continuously as supply is confirmed.
- Appointments can be made here.
Nova Scotia offers additional $12 million to businesses impacted by COVID-19 lockdown
- The Nova Scotia government announced an additional $12 million in business supports on Tuesday. The additional funding is intended for businesses directly affected by the provincewide lockdown.
- To qualify, businesses must have had a monthly average decrease in revenue of 30% between March 1, 2020 and February 26, 2021 compared to the same period from the previous year.
- Eligible businesses can receive up to a maximum of $5,000.
- In addition to the increased funding, the Nova Scotia government announced another measure that would allow tourism operators to apply for a rebate program to provide a 50% rebate on the first six months of commercial property tax paid in 2021-22.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/3vGde8k
- Release Link: https://bit.ly/3tlvgez
Nunavut and Northwest Territories bubble has been suspended
- The common travel area for people travelling between the Northwest Territories and Nunavut has been suspended by Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer amidst rising case numbers in the territories.
- Anyone travelling to Nunavut from the N.W.T. must now isolate at a designated isolation hub in Yellowknife for 14 days before travelling.
- The restrictions include exemptions for medical personnel, critical workers, and those granted compassionate exemption.
- News Link: https://bit.ly/33dPex9