With the election now in the rearview, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) says collaboration across industry and across party lines is going to be critical to moving us forward.
Beth Potter, president and CEO of TIAC, observed that: “The recovery of Canada’s tourism industry is key to Canada’s overall recovery. We were encouraged to see tourism-specific pledges mentioned in the party platforms during this campaign.”
TIAC’s president continued: “It is vital that this once $105 billion industry be recognized as the important economic driver it is. We look forward to working on an urgent basis with all Parliamentarians to ensure the survival of the tourism industry.”
During the election, TIAC was an outspoken advocate of all parties working with industry on:
- Targeted support for the hardest hit;
- Delivery of a seamless proof of vaccination certification program; and,
- Implementation of progressive strategies to address critical issues such as the labour shortage and traveller confidence.
The industry association also made it abundantly clear Canada’s hardest hit industries are at serious risk without continued federal support.
TIAC pointed out that tourism businesses have faced devastating revenue losses due to COVID.
And the industry has lost two summer seasons, drained financial reserves, taken on debt and now has difficulty attracting enough employees as it strives to relaunch.
Said Potter: “TIAC is committed to working diligently with all elected representatives and senior federal officials on behalf of the industry. Collaboration across industry and across party lines is going to be critical to moving us forward. It has been our biggest strength over the past 18 months.”
However, TIAC indicated that it is enormously encouraged that tourism businesses will be able to expect tailored and sector-specific support as they head into the winter months.
It pointed out that in its first announcement on the campaign trail, the Liberal Party announced that it would:
- Provide Canada’s hard hit tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75% of their expenses
- For sectors like hotels, tour operators, convention centers and festivals experiencing a minimum of 40% revenue loss
- Qualifying businesses in these sectors would be able to access a maximum subsidy rate of up to 75%, commensurate to their revenue loss, in order to help cover fixed costs like wages and rent
- The subsidy would be available between September 2021 until May 31, 2022
- Extend the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to March 31, 2022
- Launch the Arts and Culture Recovery Program that will match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres and other cultural venues to compensate for reduced capacity
- Extend COVID-related insurance coverage for media production stoppages to support 150,000 Canadian jobs
- Implement a transitional support program to help bridge workers from the creative industry who continue to be impacted by the pandemic
And TIAC is urging all members of Parliament to endorse these initiatives in support of the industry and to work collectively to pass them as quickly as possible in this new Parliamentary session.
Go to www.tiac-aitc.ca for more.