Dear Tourism Stakeholders,
The TIAC Team is pleased to provide you with this update on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, including the steps government is taking to address the situation. We are working hard to make sure the industry’s voice is heard by government, and that you have the information you need to keep your business going in these uncertain times.
Please find the latest updates on official announcements and a recap of TIAC’s advocacy work on behalf of Canada’s Visitor Economy:
TIAC’s Advocacy Update
- Late last week, the government announced a 4 week extension to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This extends the program to a total of 28 weeks, where it will transition to a revamped EI system on September 28th. Key items of note for TIAC’s members include:
- To help individuals qualify with a minimum of 120 hours of work, EI claimants will receive a one-time insurable hours credit of:
- 300 insurable hours for claims for regular benefits (job loss)
- 480 insurable hours for claims for special benefits (sickness, maternity/parental, compassionate care or family caregiver)
- To support Canadian businesses and workers through the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is freezing the EI premium rate at the 2020 level.
- The rate for employees is $1.58 per $100 of insurable earnings for two years.
- The rate for employers, who pay 1.4 times the employee rate, will also remain unchanged at $2.21 per $100 of insurable earnings.
- Overnight, the Conservative Party of Canada announced the results of its leadership race after a difficult vote count. Durham MP Erin O’Toole took the leadership over candidates Peter MacKay, Leslyn Lewis, and Derek Sloan.
TIAC looks forward to engaging the new opposition leader on supporting the tourism sector through COVID-19 recovery.
· On Friday afternoon, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages Melanie Joly announced $4M through FedNor to boost tourism in Northern Ontario. A complete list of beneficiaries is listed in the linked backgrounder.
· On twitter, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and Trade, Mary Ng promoted York Region’s “Ready When You Are” campaign to encourage local tourism. The campaign provides easy access to York Region’s experiences, restaurants, and attractions for potential tourists to consider.
· Information on the campaign can be found here.
· Minister Ng also shared a new resource last week that aims to help businesses reopen safely. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has released a free 30-minute course to educate business owners and staff on their responsibilities relating to COVID-19.
· In Ontario, the government is investing $1.2 million through Destination Ontario and Destination Northern Ontario for a new multi-seasonal marketing campaign encouraging domestic tourism within Northern Ontario. The campaign encourages travelling local and domestic.
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· Over the weekend, Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau released more details on “Canada’s Flight Plan for Navigating COVID-19”. A full document is available featuring useful graphics and detailed measures for travelers and tourists hoping to restart travel by air.
· Applications for Period 5 of the CEWS program opened on August 17th. There are now new resources, including a CEWS calculator, available to businesses to help navigate changes to this program.
· For TIAC’s members using the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), Export Development Canada has announced a new call centre starting up to provide status updates and document assistance to applicants as some applicants have had challenges receiving the application support they need to receive funds through CEBA.
Resources for Businesses
- Tourism HR Canada offers a wide range of checklists and resources to help tourism operators and their teams rebound from the crisis and build a resilient workforce through their Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit. They also publish the latest tourism employment numbers and insights in their Employment Tracker.
- TIAC Member Keepoint is offering members of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada a 10% discount on its products for a period of 60 days. You will be able to purchase our products from our website at keepoint.ca – click here for promo code.
- The Manitoba Tourism Education Council (MTEC) is offering their “Clean It Right” program certification free to tourism, hospitality, and retail industry businesses in Manitoba until June 1, 2021 – click here for more details.
- The certification is also available to operators in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador– please check with your provincial tourism association for costs and other information.
- Our partners at Destination Canada are creating free online educational videos for tourism businesses – “Marketing Tips and Tricks” to increase their digital marketing presence. The first video in the series is available now.
- TIAC member Tempest has created a free content platform called Rediscover Canada for destination professionals to share travel stories and ‘hidden gems’ in their communities. You can check out and contribute to the initiative here.
- The UNWTO has an online dashboard of international statistics on the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.
- MPI has created a coronavirus resource page that pulls together meetings and events information and also links to several other resources helpful to the Business Events segment in our sector.
- The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has released a series of Global Safety Protocols for reopening with the ‘new normal’ in mind.
- Go2HR has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for all types of sector businesses related to COVID-19.
- For operators looking for information on how to prepare to safely reopen their operations, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a series of bilingual guidelines available to businesses regarding COVID-19.
Google for SMEs has also launched a page dedicated to supporting businesses during COVID-19 including practical steps and free digital skills training.
Looking Ahead – COVID-19 Recovery
Several provinces have begun announcing plans for reopening economies. Timelines and actions vary, but can provide businesses and workers with information on what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months. TIAC is following up on measures announced by British Columbia to limit gatherings of more than 50 people and seeking a coordinated approach between provinces in the recovery phase. We have reached out to our provincial counterparts to work together in an effort to create an orderly recovery strategy that will address health concerns and support tourism businesses. TIAC will continue to add links to provincial recovery plans as they become available:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland & Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- The Council of Atlantic Premiers – Travel Bubble release
- Maclean’s – Coronavirus in Canada: Reopening plans province-by-province
- Canada’s Tourism Roundtable guide on travelling in Canada
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|New information is being shared at a rapid pace and we know it can be overwhelming. If you think you may have missed something, head over here to see all our communications that we’ve released so far:|