Coalition urges Canadian government to save tourist season
The tourism industry, very much including Canada’s land border stores, were the first hit in the pandemic, it was the hardest hit, and it is proving, as expected, to be the last to recover.
Businesses in this segment — often small business owners now with savings depleted and debt loads high — are urgently requesting a number of measures to help these businesses to survive and also to try and prevent a third lost year of tourism. Measures include:
• Removing barriers at the border, specifically any testing requirements
• Maintain and extend the Tourism and Recovery Hospitality Program (THRP) support program
• Help the sector attract the workforce it needs to recover
“The COVID-19 crisis has created an unpredictable environment for travelers and hospitality businesses,” said Beth Potter, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and Co-Chair of the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses. “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.”
“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 Susie Grynol, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada and Co-Chair of the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses. “The government has helped the sector survive this far; it just needs a little more help to get back on its feet.”