A strongly worded call for federal government funding to support Canada’s travel and tourism industries during the COVID-19 virus crisis was announced by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) last week.
During a webinar by Destination Canada, TIAC president and CEO Charlotte Bell expressed deep concerns for the future of these industries, and to appeal for government financial assistance, reports Ted Davis in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
“Outside of the health sector, Canada’s tourism and travel industry is the most severely impacted sector in Canada by the COVID-19 global pandemic – and unfortunately, there is no end in sight,” said Bell.
Her participation in the webinar meshed with the release of a statement by TIAC describing the plight of these sectors. TIAC warned that without immediate support from the federal government, Canada’s $100 billion-plus tourism sector will see monumental job losses over the coming days and weeks – and that, in fact, this was already happening.
“Without tourists or local visitors, the tourism industry has ground to a complete halt. Now, the industry’s more-than 200,000 businesses are facing a dire situation without immediate support.”
The federal government’s recent announcements for $10 billion in available credit through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada, as well as the $82 billion aid package are important first steps for impacted Canadians, says TIAC.
However, TIAC’s internal analysis shows that without immediate and substantial industry-specific support from the federal government, the vast majority of the 1.8 million Canadians employed in the travel/tourism sector could be without a job within weeks.
“The measures announced this week were general in nature, and not targeted specifically at any one sector – these are important steps but do not address the devastating impact on this sector,” said Bell.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.