UCP Falls Short on Tourist Industry Support
The Alberta Party welcomes the announcement of supports for the province’s tourism industry made today. But the government can and must go much further in supporting an industry worth billions to Alberta.
Not forcing short-term accommodation providers to remit the Alberta Tourism Levy collected between March 1st and December 21st is a welcome announcement.
Brenda Stanton, Shadow Minister for Tourism:
“It will be a very long and uncertain road to recovery for the accommodation sector as across the country the local and regional markets will be heavily targeted. If this long weekend is any indicator, there will be far more 'day- trippers' and campers than those seeking overnight hotel accommodations. We need a strong tourism industry to accommodate them and grow our economy.”
”Our industry has been decimated. Some communities like Banff have gone from being unable to fill all the positions needed to serve tourists to unemployment’s rates between 80 and 85 percent. In a matter of days, our industry was completely shut down.”
Any and all relief from all levels of government to the tourism & hospitality industry is welcome as it is the industry that was hit the hardest and fastest as COVID-19 became a global pandemic. As re-opening begins, there will be substantial additional costs to the industry as well. From PPE to additional labour needed to meet the expectations of cleanliness for guests to feel 'safe' again, the industry has a long road ahead, this is a welcome first step in recognizing the importance of the industry.
The Alberta Party has a plan to grow the industry, ranging from new and expanded grant programs for the arts, culture, and sporting industries in Alberta, municipal bonds which would allow those communities that rely on tourism to grow their infrastructure so as to better serve visitors, to the film in Alberta credit program which, once travel restrictions are lifted, would bring thousands of more people to the province that would need hotels and restaurants. In Rebuilding Alberta, we have a plan to grow all industries in Alberta, including in tourism and accommodation.