As of last week, the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program subsidies have been reduced by half. TIAC and the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, which I co-chair, had been advocating strongly for the extension of the subsidies past the program end date of May 7, 2022; and will now redouble those efforts to push also for their full reinstatement.
In more encouraging news, the government announced the removal of the pre-entry testing requirement for fully vaccinated travellers coming into Canada as of April 1. TIAC has long campaigned for this change in policy and it is the right move scientifically.
But while the news certainly helps send the message that Canada is open for tourism to the world, we are acutely aware of the fact that an open border does not make up for the economic losses incurred by the Omicron variant. The reality is that international arrivals are still down 86%.
Yesterday, I presented to the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus and spoke to senators and members of parliament from all parties. I continued to press our messaging from Hill Week last month, in which we identified key action priorities:
i) Financial Supports and Infrastructure
ii) Labour Shortage in Tourism and
iii) Branding and Barriers
I encourage you to read about these priority areas and TIAC’s related recommendations in our pre-budget submission here.
President & CEO