VANCOUVER, B.C. – The coalition that is representing British Columbia’s 19,000 plus tourism and hospitality businesses have presented the Provincial Government with a recovery incentive proposal.
In this proposal, the Government would allocate around $680 million from its $1.5 billion recovery package as an initial investment to help mitigate the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on the province’s visitor economy and the workforce.
According to a 2018 statistic, the latest one available, the tourism and hospitality industry, which included over 19,300 businesses, had generated more than $8.3 billion in provincial GDP and around $4.5 billion in direct tax revenues from $20.4 billion in direct visitor spending. Employed in tourism-related businesses were more than 300,000 workers, half of which worked to service visitors in every community of the province.
The tourism and hospitality industry has been the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with business closures, lay-offs, travel restrictions, and the closing of international borders.
The long-term economic outlook for the tourism-related sector is the bleakest for any industry. Best-case scenarios would still see a $14.8 billion decline in revenue. In 2018, revenue was $20.4 billion, and so far, in 2020, it is $6.7 billion.
There are three components to the proposed recovery stimulus package:
- Working Capital Recovery Grant – $475 million that would help to sustain and maintain some form of profit for businesses in the medium term of 18 months. It could also include low or no-interest loans with an extended payback period. A way to help sustain businesses that would typically rely on visitors.
- Support for Adaptation Costs – $190 million that would provide funds to help businesses in adapting their operations to the health and safety requirements for COVID-19. It will also help protect the public and staff.
- Support for Developing Resilient, B.C.-focused Supply Chains – $15 million that would help to support different industry subsectors refocus their supply chains and form new relationships with B.C. suppliers. It could help to not only promote recovery over the next 18 months but also be resilient going forward.
For more information on the proposed tourism and hospitality sector recovery proposal, you can visit the Tourism Industry Association of B.C. website.