Travel Agent Appreciation

Time To Act To Help The Hardest Hit

In a plea to the federal government, the Coalition of the Hardest Hit Businesses is calling on it to take immediate action to save the tourism industry in Canada, which was the first hit by the pandemic and will be the last to recover.

In a statement, the industry group said that businesses are urgently calling on the government to remove barriers at the border, maintain and extend the Tourism and Recovery Hospitality Program (THRP) support program and help the sector attract the workforce it needs to recover. The impact of the pandemic on these businesses has been relentless.

It points out that the industry’s small business owners have depleted their savings, cut costs to the bone and have reached their debt limits, yet the support program designed to preserve the sector will be cut in half in 4 days.

Ongoing border and travel restrictions have left the industry with no plan to build back its key international visitors while other countries are open for business.

With no predictability in sight, and a support program being pulled prior to recovery, operators are struggling to survive, compete and attract workers back to the sector.

Beth Potter, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and Co-Chair of the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has created an unpredictable environment for travellers and hospitality businesses.”

Potter continued: “International arrivals are still down 87%. The Coalition is calling on the Government of Canada to maintain and extend the THRP support program, announce a clear plan to remove barriers at the border, and dedicate resources to a national labour strategy to build the sector back.”

Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada and Co-Chair of the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, pointed out that: “Omicron has set our businesses back with significant cancellations over the winter and spring, and we are quickly losing our booking window for the summer.”

Said Grynol: “The government has helped the sector survive this far, it just needs a little more help to get back on its feet.”


Posted in Canada, COVID-19, Hotels, News, Tourism Organizations