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OTTAWA, February 16, 2021 -- Registration is now open for the fifth annual Labour Market Forum, March 15-18, 2021. This premier event offers Canada's tourism sector a unique opportunity to collaborate on creating a resilient, inclusive workforce. Businesses, industry associations, educational institutions and governments are all invited to examine skills and labour issues and strategize on initiatives to strengthen tourism's future. Programming for this year's event covers critical topics including COVID-19 recovery, mental health in the workplace, and engaging and supporting a diverse labour market.

"Of all sectors detrimentally impacted by COVID, tourism continues to be one of the hardest hit by the crisis," said Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. "The Labour Market Forum has been a key event over the past four years, allowing us to not only present information and initiatives, but just as critically gain feedback and ideas from attendees. That dialogue is now more important than ever. With this year being fully virtual, we have an opportunity to include more individuals from all stakeholder groups to be part of this discussion and contribute to the outcomes that will be crucial to tourism's recovery and restarting growth."

PROGRAMMING ANNOUNCED TOUCHES ON DIFFICULT BUT CRITICAL ISSUES

The interactive forum is designed around four pillars: Skills, Supply, Sentiment, and Strategy. These pillars reflect the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic on the tourism sector as well as the need for innovative approaches to restart tourism in the face of dramatic labour losses. Here is a select list of seminars to watch for. For a full schedule, visit https://pheedloop.com/lmf2021/site/schedule/.

State of the Industry: Responding to COVID Challenges and Opportunities A message from association leaders who have been assiduous in responding to the needs of the industry. Individually, and collectively, their efforts have done much to help the industry stay afloat. Gain insights into the main challenges they face and what they anticipate is needed to help recover the workforce.

The Post-COVID Future of Tourism

In 2019, the visitor economy contributed $104.9 billion in expenditures and $43.5 billion in Gross Domestic Product, capping several years of tourism growth. 2020 presented an unprecedented challenge. In February 2021, Tourism HR Canada brought together tourism employers and employees to identify the most likely scenario the sector will face when the pandemic recedes. This session will present those findings, reflect on the industry's systemic challenges and assess how COVID-19 has mitigated or enhanced these issues.

A Sector Analysis of COVID Impacts on Immigration Employment Prospects

COVID-19 and related public health restrictions significantly reduced the number of newcomers arriving in Canada in 2020. Those same measures have had a massive impact on the economy, particularly in industries with above average numbers of immigrant workers. The federal government has re-committed to immigration as an essential economic driver by raising immigration levels. What unique economic integration challenges will this record number of newcomers face? What does this mean for the hospitality and tourism industry?

The Impact of Digitalization of the Tourism Workforce Tourism businesses are transforming their business models with increased adoption of technology and digitalization of operations. Investments are aimed at innovation, reshaping products and services and, most importantly, building resilience. Together, examine the emerging role of digital technology on the tourism workforce, its impact on work organization, and the skills needed to recover and operate post COVID-19.

To register or learn more about the programming, please visit: https://pheedloop.com/lmf2021/site/