TIAC Launches Hill Days 2022 as Government of Canada Announces Changes to Pandemic Restrictions at the Border
Feb. 15, 2022, Ottawa ON – The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) is leading a series of meetings with Parliamentarians this week to lobby for the beleaguered industry as part of its annual Hill Days advocacy campaign (Feb. 15-17, 2022).
These meetings aim to educate federal government officials on the issues faced by the tourism industry and to champion policies to help rebuild the travel economy. This year’s launch of the fully-virtual campaign is coinciding with an announcement from the federal government that it is changing pandemic restrictions at the border, eliminating the requirement of a negative PCR (or molecular) test to enter the country.
“We’re encouraged today by the Government of Canada’s move to end to PCR tests for fully-vaccinated travellers as of Feb. 28. A negative antigen, or rapid, test is far less onerous and cumbersome to procure. We have been advocating heavily for this change on behalf of our members as well as the tourism industry at large; especially in recent weeks as the pandemic, vaccination status, and available science have evolved,” says Beth Potter, President & CEO of TIAC.
“It’s a step in the right direction and we look forward to the removal of the rapid test in the very near future. As Canada enters a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic – one marked by widespread vaccination and high levels of prior infection, and one which many Medical Officers of Health have called endemic – it's time for the federal government to reopen Canada by ending not just PCR, but also antigen testing for all fully-vaccinated travellers.”
Prior to COVID-19, tourism was one of the fastest growing industries in the world. As one of Canada’s largest industries, tourism was responsible for $105 billion in GDP, provided 1 in 10 Canadian jobs, and was made up of 225,000 small- and medium-sized businesses across Canada. “When COVID-19 arrived, tourism was the industry first hit, hardest hit, and will be the last to fully recover.,” says Beth.
According to Statistics Canada, as of December 2020, businesses in the tourism sector accounted for 7.7% of all employer businesses in Canada, of which the vast majority (98.0%) were small businesses with less than 100 employees.
Over four-fifths (84.3%) of businesses in the tourism sector experienced a decrease in revenue in 2020 compared with three-fifths (60.5%) of all businesses. Almost half (44.9%) of businesses in the tourism sector experienced a decline of 40% or more in revenue in 2020, with those in Northwest Territories (52.4%), Prince Edward Island (51.6%), and Manitoba (51.3%) most likely to see this level of loss.
Just in time for the federal announcement, TIAC is holding a three-day advocacy initiative in which TIAC members will host more than 50 virtual meetings with Members of Parliament (MPs), Senators and other officials to discuss the way forward as the industry starts to rebuild.
“We have a plan, but we need help,” says Potter. “We’re urging TIAC members and the industry-at-large to help us amplify our message to the government.” They can do so by visiting the campaign’s website TIAChilldays.ca and downloading a template of a letter to be sent to their MP, as well as taking to social media and sharing the images and messaging provided on the website.
Director, Communications & Media Relations /
Directrice, communications et relations avec les médias
Tourism Industry Association of Canada /
L’Association de l’industrie touristique du Canada
t: 613-238-7887 ext. 8765