TIAC president Charlotte Bell says any light at the end of the Canadian tourism industry tunnel is looking somewhat faint at the moment.
Bell said during a Tuesday webinar that this is a “brutal time” for an industry struggling to cope with the fallout from coronavirus and a cash crunch is looming for many companies.
Surveys cited by Bell showed most tourism companies have laid off staff and some aren’t generating any revenue these days.
“The biggest message we’re hearing is liquidity is needed now,” Destination Canada chair Ben Cowan-Dewar in turn told webinar participants.
Ottawa has announced different measures for businesses that are now in financial trouble but Bell warned that there are “still enormous gaps” when it comes to providing help across the tourism board. For instance, seasonal businesses don’t qualify for the new wage subsidies.
“The gaps are real,” Bell warned, adding her association is asking Ottawa to end shortfalls.
Tourism is “at the top” of the list of industries that are suffering because of the pandemic, she stated.
Bell said those in the industry should let TIAC know what government measures are working for them and which aren’t.
Bell said TIAC is “very much focused” on a tourism industry recovery and cautioned that Canada is lagging behind some other countries on plans to compete for international visitors when travel resumes. Some countries are planning to attract tourists with the likes of financial incentives, she reported.
Tourist attractions are among the tourism sectors that have been particularly hard hit and webinar attendees were warned that destinations and hotels won’t be able to attract visitors without attractions.
“All sectors need to survive in order to ensure an orderly (tourism industry) recovery,” Bell said.