A Message from President & CEO, Ingrid Jarrett
Dear Hospitality Community,

As I reflect upon this past year, writing to you for the final time of 2020, it may seem fitting to recount the many challenges 2020 brought each of us. Instead, I'd like to take a moment to celebrate the more positive aspects of this year, recognizing the unbelievable level of collaboration, passion, and resiliency that has echoed throughout our industry.

I first joined as your BCHA President and CEO in March of this year. Unbeknownst to me or anyone at the organization at that time, I was being tasked to lead our provincial accommodators through the most significant and devastating crisis in recent history. Though my commitment to you all was unwavering, I had moments where I considered if there was any way I could truly make the difference so desperately needed in order for our industry to survive.

I, along with our small but mighty BCHA team, began recognizing the misunderstandings of our industry at the federal, provincial and municipal level. We heard your stories and experiences and witnessed the impact the pandemic was having on a human level. We recognized the commitment to collaborate that went beyond anything ever witnessed in our community before. And most importantly, we learned the true power that lies in numbers and the overwhelming dedication each of you possess to help one another through such troubling times. It gave me resolve to tell our story of truth in a way that could be heard and understood.

It moves me to recognize the partnerships that have been developed and nurtured over the past ten months amongst industry associations, destination marketing organizations, vendors and businesses of all sizes, and our tourism community at large. We have demonstrated how strong we are when we lean on each other as a united front to action change.

And it is working.

This week, we received two announcements from government, indicating that they are listening and considering the voice of our industry. On Monday, we learned that eligibility for the Small and Medium-Sized Business Grant program would be expanded; and today, it was announced that the tourism industry would receive $100 million with an additional $5 million allocated for Indigenous businesses, with the expectation that this is still the first step in assisting with recovery.

We are greatly appreciative for this support and the commitment shown to our industry. We whole-heartedly thank the provincial government along with the Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport for facilitating this change and heeding our concerns. This is a very critical step in securing support to keep many of our accommodators across the province operational.

While we absolutely celebrate these wins, we must also recognize the continued limitations that indicate there is further work to do. Many businesses that are in dire need of support still do not qualify; many of these are deemed too large (more than 149 employees), have ownership located outside of British Columbia, or are considered too new. The impact of potentially loosing the largest businesses, the largest employers, and the largest contributors of our industry to government taxes remains misunderstood.

Your team at the BC Hotel Association is committed to ensuring we continue to educate, communicate and advocate on your behalf to shine a light on this and other important issues. Our resolve is unwavering. In 2021, we will be working with our industry partners to ensure federally and provincially we do everything we can to support your very survival, and that our guests can once again travel safely, experiencing excellence in guest service.

Wishing you all the warmest of holidays. Though 2020 made us exceptionally grateful for our industry and all that we hold close, we look forward to a brighter future in 2021.

Warm regards,

Ingrid Jarrett
President & CEO
Included below you will find important information on:

  • Tourism relief update
  • Small & Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Eligibility Ca
  • BCHA, TIABC, & BCRTS webinar recording
  • Hotel Association of Canada: 2020 Year in Review
  • New Member Feature: Blackcomb Spring Suites
Tourism Relief Update
B.C. commits $105 million to support tourism sector

Earlier today, I announced $105 million in dedicated relief funding for the tourism sector. These are the first actions we are taking to respond to the Tourism Task Force’s recommendations, which we received on Dec. 9, 2020.

The Tourism Task Force worked diligently to deliver a report to our government that provided concrete recommendations for actions to help people and businesses survive the pandemic. I want to thank the members of the task force for listening to industry’s needs and delivering their report weeks ahead of schedule. This has given us valuable time to make headway on their recommendations.

The relief funds I announced today will provide critical support to tourism operators through the winter months, particularly as travel restrictions remain in place. Acting on the Task Force’s recommendations, we have created a $100 million tourism-specific funding stream through the Small and Medium Size Business Recovery Grant Program. We also took the task force’s advice in simplifying the application process and streamlining the eligibility criteria, so that more businesses can access grants.

Given our government’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, we are also creating an Indigenous relief funding grant program in partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC, as recommended in the task force’s report. This $5 million allocation will help to sustain Indigenous tourism operators through this difficult winter.

In the weeks since I was appointed Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, I have spoken with leaders across the sector. They shared with me the deep hardship that tourism workers and operators are facing. People are worried about whether they will have a job to go to and whether they will be able to reopen their doors to visitors.

As minister, I am dedicated to doing everything I can to support people in the tourism industry. This has been the most challenging year that people in this business have ever faced, and while news about vaccines arriving in British Columbia gives us reason to be hopeful, we aren’t through this storm yet. The funding I announced today will help people who rely on tourism get through these next few months. I’m also pleased that the grant changes announced on Monday by Minister Ravi Kahlon are already in place. I encourage people to visit the web site to learn more and apply online.

We know that once travel restrictions lift, people will return to travel in our province. There is so much beauty here to share, and at the heart of that is the people showcasing and welcoming visitors to British Columbia. I look forward to continuing to paddle together to create a strong recovery of the tourism sector.

Melanie Mark
Hli Haykwhl Ẃii Xsgaak
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport

Read More here.
Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Eligibility Changes
The B.C. government has enhanced the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program to make it easier for businesses to qualify and has increased support for those in the hard-hit tourism sector.
Tourism businesses impacted by the pandemic will be eligible to receive between $10,000 and $45,000 in a non-repayable grant.
Adjustments made to the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program include a streamlined application process and simplified criteria to allow more businesses to be eligible.
Eligibility changes include:
  • instead of requiring a revenue loss of 50% or more, the criteria has been reduced to 30% at the time of application;
  • the requirement to list a variety of remittance accounts, like the registration numbers for the goods and services tax, provincial sales tax and WorkSafeBC, have been removed;
  • businesses that have been in operation for the last 18 months are now eligible (reduced from three years). This means businesses only need to have been in operation nine months before the pandemic to apply for the grant;
  • applications can now be submitted by sole proprietors; and
  • businesses that are temporarily closed or seasonal are now eligible for the program.
  • The revised application process and eligibility criteria are now in place. Small- and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to apply.
For more information on the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program, including the application process and eligibility, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant
BCHA, TIABC, & BCRTS Webinar: State of the Hospitality & Tourism Webinar
Thank you for joining us last week for our webinar in partnership with TIABC and the BCRTS. In our presentation we outlined the current state of the hospitality and tourism industry in BC and provided an outlook for 2021. A recording of the webinar and the presentation are available below.
Watch all BCHA webinars here.
Hotel Association of Canada: The year in Review
As this whirlwind year comes to a close, HAC would like to take a moment to pause and reflect on the past year and the rollercoaster of events our industry has experienced, and the successes we have captured along the way together with your support.
We have developed a Current Federal COVID-19 Business Support Programs guidance document which outlines all government measures currently available to hoteliers, available here.
In closing, I would like to thank you for your continued support, dedication and advocacy throughout 2020. We were able to come together and support each other during a time of great uncertainty.
But our industry is resilient and we remain hopeful as we head into 2021. Our work is far from over and we will continue to be the steadfast voice of the industry as we tackle these issues in the new year.
New Member Feature
Blackcomb Spring Suites
Come and enjoy Blackcomb's best address. Ski-In, Ski-Out suites with full kitchens to keep your bubble small and your smiles big.

New this winter! Bagged breakfast, lunch on the go, and grocery delivery allow you to keep your interactions down. Ski home for lunch and put your feet up by the fireplace. Learn more here.
ACTION NEEDED: December Pulse Check
Once again, we lean on your experience and input to help guide our advocacy efforts as we enter 2021. This past month has been exceptionally challenging for our industry and we need your voices to help us gather this information.

Please take a few moments to complete the survey below!