Ongoing support for the Visitor Economy
We know these are difficult times within the tourism sector. We know there is a lot of uncertainty around what our world will look like next month, next week, and even tomorrow.
Now more than ever, we will leverage the power of Team Canada to align and support us through the times ahead, and will direct you to resources available to support your businesses.
Due to the uncertainty and quick moving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, please note that any end date for international travel bans published by the government may change as the situation requires. We understand that this lack of certainty is not ideal for industry who are anxious to resume recovery efforts. We have reached out to the responsible federal departments for clarity and can confirm that, due to the unpredictable nature of this global epidemic, and the fact that health considerations remain the driving force for decisions - the end dates for the travel ban may be updated at any time. This means the travel ban might be lifted sooner or later than the published date.
As tourism industry professionals, our best advice is to treat these published end dates as “to be confirmed”. Please check the following government of Canada websites: Travel and Tourism and Public Health Agency of Canada for the most up to date information. Rest assured that Destination Canada will relay any change in travel restriction dates as soon as the information becomes available.
We continue to support our industry with marketing, storytelling and research, especially during this difficult time. Marketing has taken a number of pivots that reflect the ever-changing circumstances in our industry.
Here is what you need to know at this time:
- The landing page on all consumer websites is updated with information that would be helpful to travellers at this time.
- All paid media marketing programs in all markets are paused.
- We continue to post content in our social feeds.
- We are working with our partners across the country to develop a recovery plan to launch new content in the future.
Data and Intelligence
As part of our mandate, we are committed to sharing data and intelligence to help inform plans into the future. We are sharing information within and across the Federal family and with our provincial tourism counterparts. We are assessing how we can best ensure that vital information is more broadly accessible, and will provide updates as they become available.
Industry webinars: We hosted a Visitor Economy webinar on March 20, 2020, sharing our approach amid the COVID-19 situation and providing information on available federal support initiatives. Representatives from Destination Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, Parks Canada, Tourism Industry Association of Canada and Tourism HR Canada spoke. Please visit this page to see a recording.
Corporate website: We will enhance the information around COVID-19 posted on our corporate website regularly including links to where small to medium sized enterprises can go for support or information. Please check this page for updates.
NorthStar meetings: We will continue to have regular meetings with our NorthStar partners (our provincial, territorial and city destination marketing co-investors from across the country) on a weekly basis.
Board: We will continue to have weekly meetings with our Board of Directors.
Support the sector by sharing relevant information: If you have a network that would benefit from this information, please pass it along. If you are Provincial Marketing Organization (PMO), Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), association, or otherwise have your own channels or networks, such as newsletters, please encourage your network to subscribe to Destination Canada News.
Ongoing communications: Continue to share your questions with your PMO, DMO and association representatives. As we are in regular contact, they can share your questions and concerns with us.
On March 16, in a joint statement between Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, we announced that with a heavy heart, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s show, which was scheduled to take place in Quebec City from May 5-8, 2020.
We cannot stress enough how much thought has been put into making this decision. Rendez-vous Canada is very much a lifeline for the Canadian tourism sector – generating leads and sales with key markets around the world, but the health, welfare and safety of our delegates is paramount.
Our decision on this was made clearer last Friday (March 13, 2020) when the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and several of his Ministers announced tightened restrictions and enhanced guidelines on international travel, border control measures, mass gatherings, among other tourism-related areas.
Although we have made the decision to cancel Rendez-vous Canada 2020, we will now look to the future. Here are a few areas under consideration:
- We will work through the process of refunds for those registered and we will follow up with next steps and details next week.
- As sellers and buyers are in the process of making meeting requests on MyRVC, we will look as to how we can help facilitate communication between buyers and sellers, and offer virtual appointments.
- GoMedia Canada 2020, our annual international consumer media trade show, is scheduled to take place in Victoria, British Columbia from September 9 to 13, 2020. Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada will work to see if GoMedia Canada can be enhanced to include a modest travel trade component.
We understand there are broader implications to this decision – and again, we are committed to working through this together. Mark your calendars as Rendez-vous Canada will return next year from May 16-19, 2021 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The below are relevant and official information sources regarding COVID-19:
FAQ & where to get answers:
I’m an employer and I have questions about my employees, EI and work-sharing:
- Employment and Social Development Canada
- Tourism HR Canada (click here for a presentation specific to helping employers deal with worker related issues)
I’m a small business and I need short-term financial support:
- Business Development Bank of Canada
- Innovation Science and Economic Development
- Department of Finance
- Global Affairs (Exports)
I do a lot of business abroad, how can I keep up with all the travel advisories?
- Public Health Agency of Canada Travel Advisories
Public Health Agency of Canada
- Visit your Provincial Marketing Organization or Destination Marketing Organization’s website for additional information about support, services and guidance.
- Tourism Industry Association of Canada: TIAC is committed to representing Canadian tourism businesses in the face of uncertainty and continues to advocate on behalf of the industry. You can also register for their industry newsletter.
- Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada: ITAC is monitoring the changing public policies by the day and the hour as things unfold. ITAC CEO, Keith Henry, has shared video messages to address these concerns and outline the steps we are taking during these uncertain times. You can also register for their industry newsletter.
- Regional Development Agency: Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are the front line for economic development in Canada and help to address key economic challenges by providing regionally tailored programs, services, knowledge and expertise. RDAs are closely monitoring the COVID-19 global challenge and the potential impact it could have on your business and your workers, as well as the broader economy.
Support for Businesses
- Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses (March 18)
- Google Small Business Hub: This is aimed to help small businesses navigate through uncertainty and includes resources for communicating with customers, communicating with employees, working remotely and modifying advertising
- Business continuity plan and templates: Business Development Bank of Canada has shared this resource for entrepreneurs. They also posted a free online webinar – watch it here.
- Export Development Canada: Under the federal government’s new Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), EDC and the BDC can now provide more than $10 billion of additional financing to customers facing economic challenges caused by COVID-19
- Global Affairs Canada: Resources for Canadian businesses
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Pandemic Preparedness for Business
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business: Keeping you and your employees safe
- Bank of Canada Rate News
- Follow Government of Canada social media channels for the latest updates
- Monitor the Prime Ministers News page closely for relevant announcements
- Download the Canada Business App to navigate government services, get recommendations tailored to your business, set up personalized notifications and find the answers you need to start up, scale up and access new markets