Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN -- $9 Billion Tourism Sector Not Getting The Support It Needs

Over the past few months, I have heard clearly how COVID-19 is devastating the visitor economy (tourism sector) in British Columbia.

I know the provincial government has heard the same messages. I’ve shared documentation from business leaders outlining the desperate situation of the industry in British Columbia and the immediate and long-term needs.

Hotels, restaurants, attractions are shuttered, business owners are on the brink of bankruptcy and hundreds of thousands of workers in the tourism industry are unemployed. For many small tourism businesses, this isn’t just a job but a livelihood, lifestyle and way to raise a family, all of which are currently in jeopardy.

Tourism contributes $8.9 billion to our provincial GDP and employs 161,500 people in every corner of our province, or it did last year.

To-date the provincial government has offered little to the struggling tourism sector and lack a clear vision to revitalize a sustainable visitor economy.

Industry leaders were left off the economic round table, and the pleas to assist tourism operators where they need it most have been ignored.

The approach of the government so far has been to bolster marketing budgets. So, Destination BC is now running an advertising campaign, targeted to British Columbians, to promote domestic travel within our province.

When you see an ad, it feels really out of touch with what is actually going on. Many people are still hesitant to travel, the industry is full of uncertainty, and it’s difficult to plan trips with so many operations closed and businesses unsure about the future.

As I highlighted in my question to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Lisa Beare), in Question Period, while British Columbians normally make up around 50 per cent of visitors, we account for less than a third of spending. So even if we double our domestic travel and spending, operators will, at best, only realize half of what they make each year while facing new and additional costs.

The dramatic decrease of travel in 2020 will impact the sector over the next 18-24 months. Through this fall and winter, it is likely that up to a quarter of our tourism businesses will close for good.

That is why industry leaders have been imploring the province to support the businesses directly so they can stay in business and keep their workers employed. To provide a balanced approach to recovery that includes supply and demand and supports people first. Without our tourism businesses we have nothing to visit and nothing to market.

In her response to my question, and follow-up questions from the official opposition, the Minister states that she continues to listen to, and work with, leaders in the tourism sector. However, when will the Minister act? When will she invest in keeping businesses solvent, workers employed and families together instead of burning resources on generic marketing campaigns?

For the tourism industry this is not a sprint that can be solved this summer, it’s a marathon that starts with taking steps now and unfortunately, we are falling way behind.

Adam Olsen ... is interim leader for the BC Green Party and MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

WUN FEATHER -- can we just put those two names to bed for a while? You can call me an ‘Indian’ and I won't mind. And let's not call the farmers and ranchers ‘Settlers’ anymore

Hey there # TeamCanada !   I can't take it any more! Well, I guess I can, but I don't want to. I want to talk about the names we call each other. My very best friends, and all my Elderly Aunts and Uncles call me an Indian. I have walked into the most magnificent dining hall at the Air Liquide Head office, Quai D'orsay in Paris, France, surrounded by the worlds top producing Cryogenics team, and Patrick Jozon, the President of Air Liquide, has seen me enter the room, and yelled: " Bonjour! There is Warren! He is my Indian friend from Canada! He and I chased Beavers together in Northern BC!" And over 400 people turned to look at me and then they all smiled, and nodded. To most European people, an Indian is an absolute ICON!   The ultimate symbol of North America. They love us. And then, one time I had just gotten married and took vacation days off to take my new wife to meet my Grandmother; I was so proud. But as soon a

Labels

Show more