As the season changes from Summer to Fall, there is no doubt that the prolonged state of the global pandemic continues to have a significant impact on industry.
The latest are the proof of vaccination programs that are rolling out across the Canada and the world. Here in BC, it’s nice to see things running more smoothly than anticipated, and that many of the dire predictions of a negative reaction failed to fully materialize. Once again, across the industry, everyone stepped up to do what is necessary to keep tourism and hospitality businesses moving forward. A big recognition to resources from Destination BC Proof of Vaccination messaging guide and the Step 3 industry toolkit that helped provide early guidance to businesses. At go2HR, we updated our training scenarios and scripts that include handling the proof of vaccination requirement for some businesses. And in a couple of weeks, BSAFE™ will have an additional information on Proof of Vaccination that can greatly assist to help winter operators train their staff as they begin to gear up for the season.
Though this all, there are some great things happening. Rugby Sevens returned to Vancouver with great success, and the return of the Clipper to Victoria shows us that that we are moving in the right direction, and we have to keep that momentum. This week, I even enjoyed a large outdoor sport competition – grade 5 Cross Country meet – which was buzzing and full of energy.
That said, while our Employment Tracker with updated monthly data shows employment on this rise, the current industry labour shortage is dire and impacting our forward progress. Over the summer, the labour shortage significantly impacted operators’ ability to realize maximum potential profitability. Many hoteliers capped occupancy and restaurants reduced operating hours/days because of staff availability. Labour shortages are forecast to be around for many years to come and are considered the industry’s next crisis. It is a complex problem and what we have done as an industry in the past may not be relevant and effective in the pandemic environment and beyond. It’s consistent across the industry, the value proposition for working in tourism needs to be renewed. When considering this challenge, my emotions span across the spectrum of leadership to helplessness. One thing I know for sure, as an industry, we have a lot of work to do on this file and go2HR is ready to do what we can to be part of the solution.
This September 30th marks the first Truth and Reconciliation Day, a federal day recognizing the contribution of Indigenous people to Canada. We’re acknowledging the day in our organization and taking the opportunity to learn more about our history. One of our team shared this video from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation as a great resource. I hope you do too.