Q: I’m an employer and I have questions about my employees, EI and work-sharing:

Employment and Social Development Canada covering Federal Employment Insurance, Child Benefits, Pension, Student loans.

Tourism HR Canada for tourism workforce resources and links including Provincial/Territorial Health Authorities, Industry associations, and a great summary of Federal program support (download “Helping Employers Deal with Worker-Related Issues” COVID-19 presentation from March 20, 2020 here PDF, 1.3MB).

Q: I’m a small business owner and I need financial support. Where can I get financial support?

The Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan webpage lists available federal programs for employees and employers.

Additionally Business Development Bank of Canada has two financing programs available: the Canada Emergency Business Account and SME Loan and Guarantee program.

Q: When will the travel ban be lifted and how can I keep up with all the travel advisories?

Public Health Agency of Canada Travel Advisories lists all travel restrictions and advisories including this advisory specific to COVID-19.

Q: I understand the government of Canada has communicated an estimated date to which the travel ban will be lifted?

Please see the Public Health Agency of Canada for official government messaging. 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. This means the travel ban might be lifted sooner or later than any published date.

As tourism industry professionals, our best advice is to treat these published end dates as “to be confirmed”. Destination Canada will relay any change in travel restriction dates as soon as the information becomes available on this page.

Q: I am an independent freelance tour guide and most business comes directly from international visitors—what should I do?

This year is an open invitation and a great opportunity for Canadians to explore their own country and experience the incredible people and places - and connect to what it truly means to be Canadian. If we collectively build passion for travel within Canada, it will have long-term impacts and change how Canadians see and value their own country for holiday and business travel, now and in the future. Please visit CandaNice.com for some ideas on how to promote domestic travel to Canadians.

Q: What are key things we should be focusing our efforts on?

Inspiration and safety are key players in helping Canadians feel confident about booking travel experiences now. It is crucial that Canadian businesses adapt to the health and safety requirements with smart strategies and innovations to keep guests safe, while not compromising on the experiences. We are conducting weekly analysis of each region’s travel restrictions and local residents’ sentiment towards tourists. This can help you make evidence-based decisions when it comes to marketing to Canadians right now.

Q: Would you be able to offer any advice on how SMEs can receive assistance from Destination Canada to start marketing to the local market?

It is critical for you to work with your provinces and cities. Make sure you have your info fed into your provincial tourism organizations as Destination Canada is investing $30 million with Provincial and Territorial Marketing Organizations to support the recovery of communities. This initiative will be rolled out over 18 months and each province or territory, at their own time, will assess the best distribution of funds.

Q: Do you have any resources we can provide Canadians to make them feel confident to travel?

We have created a user-friendly Interactive Map on CanadaNice.com that shows current travel restrictions and safe travel requirements by province and territory. Additionally, we have created 10 tips for Canadians to keep in mind as they plan, among other resources offered for travellers on the website.

Q: We have had to let go many of our staff and no longer have specialists in certain area such as social media or video creation – do you offer any support for this?

We have created a video series designed to help Canadian tourism business get the most out of their marketing efforts, reach travellers and remain competitive. The quick tutorials feature Destination Canada team members sharing their expertise. The episodes will be released and posted below over the coming weeks. Please find these videos here.

Q: I am a travel advisor and am trying to learn more about the Canada offering – how can I learn more so I can sell effectively?

Destination Canada has a history of working with travel advisors in our international markets, helping them sell Canadian experiences to inbound travellers. As a result, we have been able to pivot quickly to capture valuable training resources and share this knowledge with domestic travel advisors, who may not be as familiar with selling Canada to their clients.

The Canada Specialist Program is intended to be a one-stop resource for travel advisors in Canada, to help them learn about the destinations, understand travel restrictions, and connect them with the tour operators.

More details on our Canada Specialist Program, including a schedule of webinars for travel advisors is available on our website: canadaspecialist.ca