Dear BCHA Members,
With the first week of 2023 already under our belt, I am encouraged by the optimism felt across our industry for the New Year. Our team and Board of Directors are excited over the initiatives and work we have planned for the year ahead and I am confident that through these efforts, 2023 will be a successful year for us all.
The New Year often brings what feels like a fresh page of a new chapter, and with the recent announcement of Premier David Eby’s new cabinet, we hold a unique opportunity to relook at some of our key files with a refreshed perspective. Since the Dec.7th announcement, I have had the pleasure of meeting with several members of government. I am heartened by the genuine response to support our industry that I have witnessed and look forward to seeing the positive impact these new working relationships will have.
On your behalf, we continue to work with our ministry on the tourism renewal strategy, and will continue to do so as many of you are attending the round tables and the visionary sessions to look at the future of tourism in our fair province.
You will recall that on October 31, 2022, the provincial government announced a new Major Events Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) that will play a role in the budget for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. I know our members, particularly those in the lower mainland, are very eager to understand the specifics of the policy and the impact it will have on your business. Please know that we have our finger on the pulse of this file and are in active conversation with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport to determine the specifics and workability of this new tax. As always, we will remain transparent with our members and will share details as soon as we can.
Similarly, we are engaged with the Union of BC Municipalities surrounding the short-term rental file. The urgency of this file has been amplified as a result of the growing housing crisis, which has led to a significant lack of affordable housing in every corner of the province. This is a key piece of information we have discussed with government as this is also intimately tied to our workforce crisis. We were heartened to see that Premier Eby included addressing short-term rentals as part of the mandate letter provided to our Minister of Housing. We are laser-focused on coming out of this year with significant movement on this file.
We are also working on the Tourism Growth Strategy with our partners at the Hotel Association of Canada. Thank you to those of you who have agreed, or been invited to join the round table facilitated by Deloitte later this month which is focused on Workforce strategy. Additionally, we are investing in research for the Tourism Growth Strategy for new hotel and infrastructure builds to support our communities and industry.
We look forward to share updates on our progress.
President & CEO
British Columbia Hotel Association