COAST SALISH TERRITORY (Vancouver, BC) – September 22, 2020 – Earlier this summer, the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) launched the COVID-19 Stimulus Development Fund to help Indigenous entrepreneurs and their businesses stay afloat during the shutdown of the global tourism industry as a result of COVID-19. Later paired with additional federal funding of $16 million, ITAC will be able to support many Indigenous tourism businesses in the form of up to $25,000 non-repayable grants. 

Today, ITAC announces Phase Four funding from Intake One (April 2020) for the Stimulus Development Fund, allocating 235 businesses over $4.9 million in grants. Remaining businesses who applied and have completed required documentation but have not yet been announced are still under review.

“We are thrilled to reach the next phase in our stimulus plan and have approval by Indigenous Services Canada to release funding for another 235 Indigenous tourism businesses,” says Keith Henry, President and CEO of ITAC. “We are proud to support those businesses struggling during the unexpected shutdown of the 2020 summer season and know this funding for Phase Four will support Indigenous entrepreneurs as they prepare for future tourism seasons.” 

The grants are disbursed to Indigenous tourism businesses who are at various stages of their tourism development. The Phase Four recipients are defined as Doors Open Businesses - tourism-related services and experiences that are newly available, in start-up and that currently receive customers who are mostly locals and regionals. The next round of applications from Intake 2 are under review and will be announced in October and all applicants will be contacted before the end of October.


VANCOUVER, BC (September 22, 2020): The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) is working in partnership with the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) and STR to offer informed recovery strategies for BC accommodators that have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Using industry data from STR – the sector’s leading data benchmarking and analytics provider – BCHA and BCRTS will develop tools and strategies to support people and communities at the heart of BC’s tourism industry.

“Supporting tourism in Canada is one of STR’s top priorities, so we are proud to partner with the British Columbia Hotel Association and the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat” says Emile Gourieux, Business Development Executive, Hotels at STR. “Through our hotel benchmarking platform, we provide organizations like the BCHA and the BCRTS with the information they need to both successfully advocate on behalf of their members and create effective marketing strategies that will drive tourism to communities across British Columbia.”

As part of the partnership, BCHA and BCRTS will receive weekly reports from STR on trends and insights that inform the current and future realities of the accommodation sector. In addition to effectively communicating these findings to members and stakeholders, the organizations will work together to further develop and deliver education and revenue management training programs for the industry, while strengthening STR insights through promoting the program.

“The pandemic’s impact on our industry has been devastating and many accommodators in our province have substantiated concerns over their properties closing permanently”, says Ingrid Jarrett, President and CEO of the BCHA. “Having our finger on the pulse of industry is now more important than ever”. She continues, “in addition to advocating on behalf of our members, we are committed to providing education to support recovery and resiliency, providing vital training that will better equip accommodators with the tools needed for their businesses to survive and prosper. Our work with STR and the BCRTS will be paramount in this.”

Glenn Mandziuk, President & CEO of The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), and Chair of the BCRTS adds, “hotels are a fundamental component to the tourism industry at large. By generating a more informed understanding of the current climate and trends affecting accommodators on a greater scale, we can action educated strategies and foster tourism growth across each of the five regional tourism organizations the BCRTS represents.”

To learn more about the BC Hotel Association, or to inquire about becoming a member, contact Mike Macleod, Director of Member and Business Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit for more information on the BC Tourism Resiliency Network led by the BCRTS.


WASHINGTON (September 21, 2020) – As devastated industries wait for Congress to pass another round of COVID-19 recovery legislation, a new survey of American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) members shows that the hotel industry remains on the brink of collapse because of the pandemic. Results show 68 percent of hotels have less than half of their typical, pre-crisis staff working full time, and without further governmental assistance, 74 percent of respondents said they would be forced to lay off additional employees.

AHLA conducted the survey of hotel industry owners, operators, and employees from September 14-16, 2020, with more than 1,000 respondents. Key findings include the following:

  • 68% have less than half of their typical, pre-crisis staff working full time currently.
  • Half of hotel owners said that they are in danger of foreclosure by their commercial real estate debt lenders due to COVID-19.
  • Without further governmental assistance, 74% of respondents said they would be forced into further layoffs.
  • More than 2/3 of hotels (67%) report that they will only be able to last six more months at current projected revenue and occupancy levels absent any further relief.

To raise awareness for hotel industry priorities, AHLA has rallied its members to “Save Hotel Jobs,” a grassroots initiative for hoteliers across the country to urge lawmakers to swiftly pass additional stimulus relief before departing on recess to campaign. This ongoing effort by hoteliers has resulted in more than 200,000 letters, calls, and tweets to members of Congress, an unprecedented demonstration of unity and support. Among hotel owner respondents, nearly half are in danger of foreclosure by commercial real estate lenders.

“It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize the many businesses and employees in the hardest-hit industries. Hotels are cornerstones of the communities they serve, building strong local economies and supporting millions of jobs,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “Every Member of Congress needs to hear from us about the urgent need for additional support so that we can keep our doors open and bring back our employees.”

Rogers reiterated the urgency of the situation on a call on Friday with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, followed by a conference call with business and travel leaders, hosted by the Economic Innovation Group. The most pressing concerns for the industry right now include access to liquidity and debt service, and liability protection.

“These are real numbers, millions of jobs, and the livelihoods of people who have built their small business for decades, just withering away because Congress has done nothing,” said Rogers on the call. “We can’t afford to let thousands of small businesses die and all of the jobs associated with them be lost for many years.”

Hoteliers can visit to connect to their elected officials.


TORONTO, ON (September 2020) –Realstar Hospitality today announced that 27 Days Inn locations from across Canada have received a 2020 TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice award (formerly known as the Certificate of Excellence award)two of which are Best of the Best recipients.

Based on a full year of TripAdvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the pandemic, award winners are recognized for consistently receiving great guest feedback, placing them in the top 10% of hospitality businesses around the world.

“We’re thrilled that so many of our franchisees have earned a 2020 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award for delivering a first-rate customer experience,” said Irwin Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality. “There is no greater seal of approval, especially during a global pandemic, for our hotels than being recognized by guests.”

2020 Travelers’ Choice Award Recipients:

  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Airdrie
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Brandon
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Brooks
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Cochrane
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Collingwood
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Edmonton Airport
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Langley
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Lindsay
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Sherwood Park Edmonton
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Strathmore
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Thunder Bay
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Warman Legends Centre 
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Yorkton
  • Days Inn by Wyndham 100 Mile House
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Canmore
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Dawson Creek
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Edmonton South
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Edmundston
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Estevan
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Medicine Hat
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Miramichi
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Orillia
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Regina Airport West
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Saskatoon
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Steinbach
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Stephenville
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Thunder Bay North

Select hotels were also named Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best award recipients – TripAdvisor’s highest honor which identifies and ranks the very best hotels in specific categories and geographic areas, as rated and reviewed by travellers. Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best award winners are among the top 1% of listings on TripAdvisor.

The following hotels are recipients:

  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Sherwood Park Edmonton
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Steinbach

“Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners' achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travellers as the world begins to venture out again.”


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