Last week, the British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) and the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) joined forces and hosted a webinar to present a general overview of the hospitality and tourism industry as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hour-long webinar, led by BCHA President & CEO, Ingrid Jarrett, and TIABC CEO, Walt Judas, covered a variety of topics ranging from the state of accommodations, layoff provisions, and property tax submissions to meetings and conventions restart, relief measures, and recovery funding.

Here are a few key takeaways from the webinar:  

State of Accommodations

  • Hotel occupancy has been down across the province. Resort destinations, particularly in the Interior and parts of Vancouver Island, are seeing stronger numbers. Downtown Vancouver is recording the lowest occupancy.
  • The average expected occupancy for the year is 32%.
  • The current forecast to year-end, August to December, for the Thompson Okanagan region is 41%.

State of the Industry in BC

  • The number of domestic overnight visitors is significantly down across all regions of the province.
  • All sectors of the industry are seeing revenue losses between 60 and 100%, including the following: 
    • Major attractions: 70-90%
    • Tour bus operators: 95-100%
    • Meetings and events sector: 90%

Meetings and Events Re-start 

  • A meeting has been scheduled with provincial officials to seek guidance on submitting a proposal to the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) that will compel the PHO to review the current order on gatherings and events.

The webinar also covered important updates about the Hotel Association of Canada's priorities, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and the re-opening of the borders, as well as providing key messages businesses can use and actions they can take during recovery. Those interested can watch a recording of the webinar on YouTube. A PDF of the presentation is also available online.