Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island Responds to Federal Budget 2021
(April 20, 2021 – Charlottetown PE): The Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island (TIAPEI) was pleased to see Canada’s Hardest Hit Sector acknowledged in yesterday’s Federal Budget address.
“As the pandemic wears on, our industry continues to struggle to keep the lights on until a time when we can lift restrictions and operate in a meaningful way again. The extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy announced offers a small window of assurance that operators were hoping for to plan for the summer months,” states TIAPEI CEO, Corryn Clemence. “While the extension to these supports was a great step to ensuring some stability for operators, we are looking to the Government of Canada to closely monitor and consider further adjustments to these supports to recognize the especially devastating impact of COVID-19 on tourism businesses. Many of our operators will have very limited ability to generate revenue, making it difficult to carry them into the 2022 season, and next to impossible to reinvest and bolster their operations and product for the 2022 tourism season.”
Some of the positives in the budget announcement include:
- $424 million in 2021-22 to ensure the “safe reopening” of Canada’s borders
- Canada Recovery Hiring Program
- Canada Digital Adoption Program
- The creation of 500,000 new training and work opportunities over the next five years
- $500 million Tourism Relief Fund to support investments by local tourism businesses in adapting their products and services to public health measure and other investments that will help them recover and position them for future growth
- $200 million through the regional development agencies to support major festivals and $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals, community cultural events, outdoor theatre performances, heritage celebrations, local museums, amateur sport events, and more
The significant reductions in the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy in August and September will have a detrimental impact on PEI tourism operators that continue to face difficult business conditions. Although the Canada Recovery Hiring Program may help mitigate this impact in the short term, industry will need to see the details of this new program. At the same time, creating a new program will increase the paperwork burden for our operators.
TIAPEI’s focus has been on highlighting gaps such as Capital Infrastructure Investment, increased Support for Tourism Specific Labour and HR Training Initiatives and continued and increased funds for Product Development. “These announcements do address the crisis our industry continues to face across the nation, but the question remains, how will these funds be allocated and what portion will be dedicated to assisting the Tourism Industry on Prince Edward Island, a province who has relied so heavily on the growth and success of our industry.”
Our industry is faced with the reality of no meaningful tourism on Prince Edward Island until the 2022 tourism season. TIAPEI’s focus is on ensuring the survival of our operators and recognizing the importance of not only surviving another bleak season but finding a way to see capital infrastructure investments and upkeep so these businesses are well positioned to welcome back visitors to our Island in the way they once did.
Chief Executive Officer
Tourism Industry Association of PEI
Tel. 902-566-5008 Email. firstname.lastname@example.org