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Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC), in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, is distributing $5 million to local Indigenous tourism businesses through the BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund. The fund offers grants of up to $45,000 to support businesses navigate the ongoing economic impacts of COVID-19.

One year after the first COVID-19 case was detected in BC, the tourism industry continues to experience unprecedented contraction and loss of revenues. To date, ITBC has supported Stakeholders through a variety of measures, including the Emergency Relief Fund, which redirected $300,000 earmarked for development and marketing towards supporting Indigenous businesses stay solvent and pivot to long-term recovery; and funding from the Province of BC, on recommendation from the Tourism Task Force, of which $5 million was deployed to Indigenous tourism businesses. The organization is continuing to assist in 2021 with the Indigenous Alignment Strategy, a three-year plan to rebuild and expand BC’s Indigenous tourism sector through the pandemic and beyond. Some Indigenous communities remain closed to visitors, and ITBC will continue to provide support to these regions as they move through recovery and rebuild the tourism landscape. 

The BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund builds on preceding support by offering additional funding to market-ready Indigenous tourism businesses that continue to experience disruption and financial loss. Funding is intended to keep these businesses solvent as they implement short- and long-term recovery plans.

Local businesses continue to struggle – and Indigenous businesses are particularly vulnerable, as the majority are small- to medium-sized enterprises that face unique challenges accessing loans or credit,” says Brenda Baptiste, Chair and Board Member of Indigenous Tourism BC. “An extra $45,000 can go a long way in bridging the gap between the slower winter season and planning for the busier summer, and we hope this funding enables Indigenous tourism businesses across BC to continue operating as we move through recovery.”

“We recognize this has been an incredibly challenging year for people working in the Indigenous tourism sector and we want to empower businesses to come back strong when its safe again to welcome visitors to our communities,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This is reconciliation in action – government working in partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC to develop this funding program specifically designed for Indigenous tourism operators. The program is now open and I encourage eligible businesses to apply now.”

"Businesses that apply for the BC Indigenous Tourism Recovery Fund financing will need to meet various eligibility requirements, including revenue loss of least 50% in 2020 and a strong recovery plan. Due to high volume, approved grant amounts will be limited to the need for funding demonstrated by each business.

Throughout the pandemic, ITBC has remained committed to growing and promoting a sustainable, culturally rich Indigenous tourism industry. For more information, including business eligibility, criteria as well as how to apply, visit www.indigenousbc.com/corporate

 
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A new survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows consumers are optimistic about traveling again in 2021, with 56% reporting they are likely to travel for vacation this year.

That represents a significant decline from pre-pandemic levels, when approximately 70% of Americans took a vacation in any given year, according to OmniTrak (TNS) data. Since the onset of the pandemic, just 21% of survey respondents reported traveling for vacation or leisure, and only 28% reported staying in hotel. Prior to the pandemic, 58% of survey respondents said they stayed in a hotel at least one night per year for leisure, and 21% stayed at least one night per year for work.

The survey also found that while consumers remain optimistic about travel, consumer confidence about staying in hotels is tied to widespread distribution of the vaccine: 11% say they will feel comfortable staying in a hotel when vaccines are available to the general public; 20% when a majority of Americans have been vaccinated; and 17% when they are personally vaccinated.

The recovery of the travel industry is anticipated to take place in three phases: leisure travel, small and medium events, and group and business travel. While recovery will begin in 2021, full recovery is not expected until 2024.

The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted January 7-9, 2021 by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA. Key findings of the survey include the following:

  • 56% of Americans say they are likely to travel for leisure or vacation in 2021
  • 34% of adults are already comfortable staying in a hotel, while 48% say their comfort is tied in some way to vaccine distribution
  • Compared to last year, 36% of Americans expect to travel more for leisure in 2021, while 23% expect to travel less and 42% about the same
  • One in five Americans (19%) expect their next hotel stay to be between now and April, with another 24% expecting it sometime between May and August

“While consumers are optimistic about traveling in 2021 after nearly a year of self-distancing measures, we continue to face record devastation. COVID-19 has wiped out 10 years of hotel job growth,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “In the next COVID-19 relief package, the hotel industry needs support from Congress and the Administration that will ultimately help small business hoteliers keep their doors open, and bring more employees back to work. Despite the challenges facing the hotel industry, hotels across the country are focused on creating an environment ready for guests when travel begins to return.”

While business travel itself will remain below 2019 levels for some time, business travelers express greater comfort in traveling for any reason compared to adults overall, and they are more likely to say they will travel more in 2021.

Leisure travel demand is projected to begin increasing in Q2-Q3 of 2021 as vaccine distribution increases across the country and consumers can connect with family and friends. In the year ahead, Americans say they are most likely to travel for a family event such as a wedding or family reunion (51% likely to travel), while many are likely to travel over summer holidays, led by the Fourth of July (33%) and Labor Day (28%).

While cleanliness has always ranked among the top factors when choosing a hotel, it has risen to the top in the wake of COVID-19. In a separate survey of travelers conducted by Ecolab in December 2020, 62% of consumers placed overall cleanliness in their top three factors when choosing a hotel—a 24% increase over pre-COVID preferences. Further, 53% of consumers say that enhanced cleaning regimens will make them feel more comfortable staying at a hotel.

At the onset of the pandemic, the hotel industry acted quickly to enhance already rigorous cleaning and safety protocols to ensure the safety of employees and guests. AHLA’s Safe Stay initiative focuses on enhanced cleaning measures and safety guidelines that help the industry meet and exceed the new health and safety challenges created during the pandemic.

These findings were also outlined in “AHLA’s State of the Hotel Industry 2021,” which details the forecasted state of the hotel industry in 2021 and into the immediate future. The report examined the high-level economics of the hotel industry’s recovery, the specific impact on and eventual return of business travel, and consumer travel sentiments.

 
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(Toronto, January 26, 2021) – Some hitchhikers just couldn’t catch a ride in 2020. Bed bug sightings, generally a growing problem for Canadian cities, are down from the year prior by close to 20 per cent nationally.

As a result of their ability to latch on to people, clothing, and furniture, all it takes is an airline or bus seat, an unsuspecting office, or a house or hotel with changing visitors, for bed bugs to travel great distances. Travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and a general shift to working remotely have resulted in less opportunities for these hitchhikers to move around, for the first time since Orkin Canada released its annual survey five years ago.

As hematophagous (blood is their only food source) creatures, a bed bug’s sole function is finding humans to eat, a task conducted mostly between midnight and 5 a.m. These dedicated workers travel up to 100-feet in search of a meal which is a long way for a creature less than a quarter-inch long (and a reminder to humans to stop complaining about how far the fridge is from the couch).

It is expected, however, that as the economy opens, bed bugs will be back in business (tip: beware of the return of borrowed office chairs). Due to their ability to double in population about every 16 days, it should not be difficult for bed bugs to regain their grip on the Canadian market.

Concerned Canadians can use proactivepreventiontips such as careful examination of bags and clothing, drying potentially infested bed linens or clothing on the highest heat setting, and inspecting all second-hand or returning office furniture. A pest management professional can also be called if the task is too great or there is a sense of being overly creeped out.

The findings byOrkin Canadaare based on the number of commercial and residential bed bug treatments carried out by the company in 2020 (January 1 – December 31).

This year’s top 10 bed bug cities are: 1. Toronto; 2. Sudbury;  3. Oshawa; 4. Vancouver; 5. Winnipeg; 6. St. John’s; 7. Scarborough; 8. Whitby; 9. Edmonton; 10. Ottawa.

Compared to the year prior’s list, Toronto and Vancouver kept their number 1 and 4 status respectively,  Ottawa fell from number 5 to number 10, and Whitby rose from number 20 to 8.

Download thefull list of Canada’s 2020 bed bug citieshere.

 
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An Interview with Scott Jocelyn President & CEO Manitoba Hotel Association

 

1. How do Cannabis sales represent a new economic opportunity for hotels?

The MHA is always looking for new opportunities for our members. There are some hotels that operate on a business model that includes a bar, VLTs and beer vendor. Some of these properties, particularly in rural Manitoba, are experiencing increasing challenges and looking for new revenue streams. These hotels are already licensed, already accustomed to selling safely, and already have staff in place who are trained in responsible service. Cannabis can be a natural add-on for these hotels. We know it is not a fit for all our members, but we are happy to help those for whom this is an important and exciting new opportunity.

2.Who has the MHA partnered with to promote this opportunity?

The MHA has a partnership in place with Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. Delta 9 is a Manitoba-based company with expertise as both a producer and retailer of cannabis. We have facilitated conversations between Delta 9 and MHA member hotels to explore opportunities to work together in areas such as marketing, product knowledge, and branding. Last summer, we invited our members to tour the Delta 9 production facility in Winnipeg. This was a very informative and educational experience that allowed our hoteliers to ask questions and learn more about the cannabis industry.

3. Has there been keen interest from MHA members?

Yes, there has been strong interest and cannabis retail stores are now beginning to open in some hotels.

 
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LANAI CITY, Hawaii (February 2, 2021)— Four Seasons Resort Lanai has been named #1 Best Hotel in the USA by U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice. The annual Best Hotels rankings evaluated more than 30,000 luxury properties across 400-plus destinations in the United States, Europe, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.

U.S. News scored luxury hotels (4-star and higher) using a methodology that combines each hotel's industry awards with expert and guest reviews. Other mentions on the list include #1 in Best Hawaii Hotels#1 in Best Beach Hotels in the US and #1 in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

“We are honoured to receive this award again this year,” says Alastair McAlpine, General Manager of Four Seasons Resorts Lanai.  He continued, “This is a true testament to our dedicated team members, who delight in welcoming our guests to their island home and ensure they have an unforgettable experience with us on this beautiful island."

For those seeking an escape to paradise, Four Seasons Resort Lanai provides peace of mind for travellers, as they can bypass the airport wait in Honolulu and head directly to a private hangar for their charter flight to the island.  Any new booking made by March 31, 2021 will include round-trip Honolulu flights on Lanai Air, for all guests in room. Inclusion is combinable with all offers; travel must be completed by December 31, 2021.*

Additional options to enjoy secure travel and the highest health and safety standards in private aviation for a secure and seamless flight can be found here.

U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower people to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives. A digital news and information company focused on education, health, money, travel, cars and news, USNews.com provides consumer advice, rankings and analysis to serve people making complex decisions throughout all stages of life. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, DC.

 

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