(Vancouver) The global pandemic has wreaked havoc on the tourism and hospitality industry in BC which has seen precipitous job losses and other negative impacts since Q2 of 2020. The Province of BC is providing $290,125 to support research into the tourism and hospitality labour market today and into the future for this key driver of BC’s economic recovery.
The project is being led by go2HR, BC’s tourism and hospitality human resource and health & safety association. An esteemed governance committee comprised of BC’s industry leaders from the tourism and hospitality industry convened to launch the project on January 27, 2021 and will provide oversight throughout. The governance committee will meet periodically over the 15-month term of the project to provide valuable insight, share research and provide oversight to the research activities.
“We recognize the profound impact COVID-19 has had on the tourism sector as well as the incredible efforts being made by tourism and hospitality businesses to keep communities safe and their businesses ready to open when it is safe to do so again,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “This labour market survey will help guide our continued joint efforts with industry as we restart the economy and come back stronger than ever.”
CEO Krista Bax of go2HR was excited by the scope and collaborative nature of this partnership. “We’ve worked hard to get all the right people around the table who share our desire for current, relevant, meaningful data to plan against and consistently use. go2HR has led other labour studies in the past and have heard repeatedly from our stakeholders that this is critical information necessary for recovery,” she said. Bax is keen to tap into go2HR’s long standing industry expertise about the labour market.
In their recommendations, the Tourism Task Force address this critical need moving forward. They recommended an improved and collaborative approach to data collection on the industry, specifically the impacts of COVID-19 on the labour market as the workforce is the most essential component to future success of the industry.
The project will deliver a final report with labour forecasts against economic recovery scenarios, as well as some new and highly anticipated analytical tools such as an employment tracker and workforce profile to help drive the industry forward. Funding for the project is from the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.
Industry advocates were buoyed by the project launch, noting this critical piece of research has largely been absent prior to the pandemic.
“Accurate labour market data is a critical component to rebuilding British Columbia’s visitor economy. Our industry was the first and hardest hit by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. The Tourism Industry Association of BC looks forward to serving with go2HR and the governance committee that will help steer this vital project over the next several months, ultimately to help inform and shape the tourism workforce in the years ahead,” said Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of BC.
“The BC Hotel Association stands shoulder to shoulder with all of our partners in tourism and hospitality to work together to begin the rebuilding process. Understanding the true picture of the labour market is essential for recovery and having an idea of future labour needs will help to ensure our future success,” said Ingrid Jarrett, CEO of the BC Hotel Association.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities and workers has been devastating and the future is so uncertain. It is encouraging to see various components of the tourism and hospitality industry band together to conduct this important labour market research. Having this information and accompanying analysis will be helpful for the businesses who are struggling and are trying to plan for the future of their business, and for future hiring,” says Nancy Small, Chair of the British Columbia Destination Marketing Organization Association and CEO of Tourism Richmond.
go2HR is BC’s tourism and hospitality human resource and health & safety association. go2HR empowers employers to have strong human resources and health & safety culture that supports strong business performance. Our programs offer tools, information, and consulting services to elevate employers’ human resources and health and safety practices. We also offer education and training for current and future workforces. Finally, we work as a resource to inform government, stakeholders, and communities on labour market conditions and strategies in relations to the tourism and hospitality sectors in BC.