B. C. tourism looking for 680-million dollar stimulus recovery package to revive the sector

 Thursday, July 23, 2020 


Due to the pandemic, as per the Tourism Association of BC, more than 100-thousand jobs in tourism have been lost either temporarily or on a permanent basis.

From the BC Government, the sector is looking for a 680-million dollar stimulus recovery package. Chair, Vivek Sharma informed Vista Radio businesses are experiencing some increased costs after re-opening the sector.

“Any businesses that have re-opened has had to do at a significant cost to change the way they do business bringing in barriers, personal protective equipment, and implementing ways of doing contactless operations, all of that comes at a cost.”

Sharma has further added that several businesses have got damaged due to COVID-19.

“Ten percent of our restaurants have closed permanently and another 50% are expected to close if they don’t get any assistance. Hotel occupancy has been down about 65% for June over previous years.”

“We need to get strategic on how we aid industry now and when we came up with this amount we broke it down into three categories so that we know how the aid is required.”

The three components are:

A Working Capital Recovery Grant ($475 million) to maintain solvency for businesses that have prospects to return to profitability in the medium term (i.e. 18 months). This could include the provision of low or no-interest loans with an extended payback period. As the timing and magnitude of out-of-province visitors are unsure, priority would lie on sustaining businesses that depend on these visitors and churn out good amount of revenues for the visitor economy, along with businesses that play key roles in drawing visitors to a community or a region.

Support for Adaptation Costs ($190 million) that would provide funds to: assist businesses adapt their operations to the health and safety requirements of COVID-19 and defend workforce, visitors, residents, and local communities; and initiate original ways of delivering tourism related experiences that would enhance and accelerate recovery.

Support for Developing Resilient, B.C.-focused Supply Chains ($15 million). The main aim would be to help the subsectors of the industry (accommodation, attractions, transportation, food services, and retail) change their supply chains and build new relationships with B.C. suppliers, developing supply chains that will not only endorse recovery in the coming 18 months but also contribute to the industry’s resilience going forward.

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