AHLA DMF recommendations. Canadian tourism employment snapshot. ORHMA supports WSIB rate reductions. HNL encourages municipalities to tap tourism. Minimum wage a concern for PEI tourism... and much more.

AHLA DMF recommendations for Edmonton and Calgary

EDMONTON — Both Edmonton and Calgary have
made it known that they would like to administer the DMFs in their communities,
which would lead to a municipal hotel tax. The province has not committed to
giving them that authority. The Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association continues
to actively engage with both levels of government and monitor this issue. 
In September, AHLA president and CEO Dave Kaiser, along with AHLA Board Chair
Leanne Shaw, met with the City of Calgary to discuss proposed changes to the
administration of DMFs. They made it clear that the AHLA and its members do not support
municipalities being given authority over the administration of DMFs.The AHLA believes that
any consideration of the administration of DMFs should be done with a focus on
driving tourism revenue, not municipal revenue.  They will continue to
fight for the industry on this issue. 

In October, the City of Calgary issued a
summary of the feedback they received from the stakeholders they
consulted. The AHLA were surprised by a number of statements in the City of Calgary’s summary, as this summary did not
accurately reflect the AHLA’s position on cities being given the
authority to administer DMFs. 

In response, they asked the city to ensure the AHLA’s position was accurately reflected in their communications and
noted the apparent conflict of interest in their consultation process.

Canadian Tourism Employment Snapshot

In August 2018, the unemployment rate in the
tourism sector was at 5.1 per cent, which is 0.3 per cent higher than the rate
reported in August 2017, and higher than the previous month (July 2018), when
the unemployment rate stood at 4.2 per cent.

At 5.1 per cent, tourism’s unemployment rate was
well below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.6 per cent.
With the exception of Food & Beverage Services and Travel Services, all
tourism industry groups reported lower unemployment rates than the same month
last year.

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment
rates ranged from 0 per cent in Prince Edward Island to 6.3 per cent in
Saskatchewan. Tourism employment comprised 12 per cent of the total Canadian
labour force for the month of August.

Federal advisory council on jobs and visitor economy

The federal government recently
announced creation of Advisory Council on Jobs & Visitor Economy. Minister
of Tourism Mélanie Joly was in Niagara Falls recently to begin a cross-Canada
tour to speak with tourism and travel experts. Tourism has been overlooked for far too
long in Canada.

looks at untapped tourism opportunities

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Hospitality Newfoundland and
Labrador is encouraging municipalities to consider the tourism industry as a
key economic driver for communities. 

Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador is big
business, with over 2,600 tourism-related businesses, 78 per cent of which are small
businesses. Tourism is a prominent employer and a key component to economic
diversification, particularly for rural areas of the province. There are almost
20,000 jobs in tourism industries – that’s 9 per cent of all jobs in the
province. By tapping in to the potential of tourism in a region, and working to
encourage and support local tourism growth, municipalities can realize not only
economic benefits, but also social, cultural and environmental value. 

One particular source of untapped tourism revenue
remains in the unregulated environment of short-term rentals and unlicensed
accommodations. The lack of modern regulation for a growing portion of
accommodators has had significant impacts on the tourism industry when it comes
to revenues, not to mention delivering on a brand promise and an elevated
standard of quality assurance, the association said.

Municipalities are missing out on a significant
source of business tax when unlicensed accommodations operate in their

“Tourism has shown its ability to strengthen and
revitalize communities all over the world, but the industry is not without it’s
challenges,” says Hospitality NL chair, Larry Laite. “We want to encourage
municipalities to ensure they explore every opportunity to grow the tourism
industry in their region, while also taking steps to understand and address,
where possible, the magnitude and implications of an unregulated tourism
economy in their communities.

“There is room for everyone in the tourism tent,
including operators of non-traditional accommodations on sites such as Airbnb,”
add Laite. “The tourism industry welcomes all service and experience providers
who contribute to the success of the industry and as it continues to grow, it
is imperative that all stakeholders work together toward a common vision for
Newfoundland and Labrador tourism.”

NL pairs with Restaurants Canada

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Hospitality Newfoundland and
Labrador, the provincial tourism industry association, has announced a
membership agreement with Restaurants Canada, the national association
representing Canada’s diverse and dynamic restaurant and foodservice industry.

Through this agreement, Hospitality NL’s
independent foodservice members will be recognized as association members of Restaurants
Canada, gaining access to numerous benefits including their national affinity
partner programs, digital communication, education and research assets, as well
as access to special Restaurants Canada industry events. Restaurants Canada is
at the forefront of critical issues and their advocacy efforts place them at
the table with government on a national level to ensure the best possible
outcome for business owners and operators, employees and customers.

says minimum wage a concern

P.E.I. — The Tourism Industry Association of Prince
Edward Island (TIAPEI) is expressing concerns regarding the recent announcement
of an increase to the minimum wage, scheduled to take effect April 1, 2019. The
announced increase will be double that of the current rate of inflation when it
takes effect and will mark an almost 53 per cent increase in minimum wage over the past
10 years with a cost of living increase of 16 per cent for the same time period.

In its annual submission to the Employment
Standards Board this year, as well as during previous submissions, TIAPEI has
advocated strongly for fixing increases to minimum wage to the Cost of Living
Index and substantially raising the Personal Basic Tax Exemption.

TIAPEI is pleased to note that requests from
industry to ensure at least six months’ notice for scheduled increases,
however, Kevin Mouflier, TIAPEI’s CEO notes “Currently PEI’s Basic Tax
Exemption is the second lowest in Canada and we continue to stress the need for
meaningful change to the exemption for our workforce and for business owners to
remain competitive.”

NBCC demonstrates quality tourism programming

FREDERICTON, N.B. —  New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) on
achieving SMART + Accreditation for two programs: Hotel and Restaurant
Operations and Hotel and Restaurant Management. Both tourism-related programs
demonstrated they exceed industry standards as envisioned in the SMART
accreditation program.

“We are delighted to recognize New Brunswick
Community College for its dedication to offering innovative and collaborative
programming that aligns with current industry needs,” stated Tourism HR Canada
president and CEO Philip Mondor. “Programs such as NBCC’s foster adaptable and
skilled tourism professionals who will ensure Canada remains a globally competitive
tourism destination.”

To establish programs that reflect today’s
tourism workplace, NBCC engaged in labour market analysis and industry
consultation—which it continues to do to keep programming current. Instructors
are engaged with the tourism sector through professional membership and
professional development events.

“NBCC is pleased to receive SMART+ Premium
accreditation from Tourism HR Canada for both our Hotel and Restaurant
Operations and Hotel and Restaurant Management Programs,” said Catherine Black,
NBCC Dean of Hospitality & Tourism. “This accreditation further
demonstrates NBCC’s commitment to excellence to serve industry’s needs and is
another way that we’re enriching the NBCC Advantage for our learners.”

ORHMA supports WSIB rate reductions

TORONTO — WSIB announced at its
Annual General Meeting, that Ontario businesses will receive a reduction on
their WSIB premium rates. These rates will be reduced by an average of 29.8 per
cent for 2019. WSIB also announced, for the first time in recorded provincial
history, the WSIB’s “Unfunded Liability” has been eliminated almost 10 years
ahead of schedule.

ORHMA, on behalf of its members
and hospitality businesses, has been at the table with the WSIB for several
years and are are thrilled that the announced rate reductions are a result of
our long-term advocacy. Businesses have now seen rate reductions for a
third year in a row.

“ORHMA is very pleased and
supportive of the WSIB rate reductions by 29.8 per cent for hotels and motels
and 31.6 pervcent for restaurants and caterers,” said Tony Elenis, ORHMA
president and CEO.

By eliminating the unfunded
liability, businesses can now have the confidence to reintroduce advantages in
areas such as additional safety initiatives to employees. ORHMA believes that
eliminating the unfunded liability is a positive turning point to ensure that
Ontario’s hospitality businesses’ workplace health and safety system is in
great shape.

The WSIB is making investments
in technology that will simplify the way businesses engage with them. For many
businesses across Ontario, the calculation for premium rates will change and
the rate-setting model will be more reflective of an individual claim
experience. Ontario’s hospitality industry looks forward to further efficiencies
with the WSIB.

ORHMA urges feds to delay CPP increase

TORONTO — ORHMA reached out to the Minister of
Finance and urged a delay to the CPP increase that is scheduled for 2019. The
Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association requested consideration of
delaying the scheduled Canada Pension Plan increase that is scheduled for 2019.
Starting in 2019, the CPP will be enhanced. This means the people of Ontario
will receive higher benefits in exchange for making higher contributions.
Currently, employees contribute 4.95 per cent on these earnings to the CPP.
Employers make an equal contribution. Self-employed individuals contribute both
the employee and employer portions, which is equal to 9.9 per cent.From 2019 to
2023, the contribution rate for employees will gradually increase by one
percentage point to 5.95 per cent on earnings between $3,500 and the original
earnings limit. This also means less money for Ontario businesses in 2019.

Tibb’s Tipples and more on Fogo Island

FOGO ISLAND, N.L. — Christmas and New Year’s on Fogo Island are fast approaching, and the
flurry of on-Island activity is mirrored by the scattered skyward flurries
characteristic of Fogo Island’s mild December. As caribou freely roam, Fogo
Islanders prepare to partake in centuries-old traditions with friends both
long-held and soon-to-be. From December 23 to 29, 2018, guests can “come home”
to Fogo Island Inn for A Merry Little Outport
, and can even stay right through to welcome in
2019 and the New Year’s Eve at One of the
Four Corners of the Earth
festivities, beginning on
December 30 to January 2, 2019.

Solo travellers, couples, and families staying
over a minimum of three nights can experience the true spirit of an elemental
Christmas: from handcrafted decorations, fireside stories, weather-watching
from a quilted bed, and even midnight celebrations at a local church. Most
unique of all is the Newfoundland tradition of mummering—dressing up in a
disguise for incognito social shenanigans over drinks, music, and dance. At the
Inn, simple pleasures like mulled crabapple cider brandy imbibed on Tibb’s Eve,
juniper tea sipped by the fire, and gift wrapping in the Gathering Hall set the
mood for a cozy celebration with new friends and loved ones. 

the festivities of Christmas, guests are invited to welcome in the new year in
a space of quiet reflection and natural wonders—with fireworks, caviar, and an
intimate performance by electronic violinist Hugh Marsh and
pianist-singer-songwriter Kevin Hearn, of the award-winning band, the
Barenaked Ladies. Most auspiciously, guests will be among the first in North
America to ring in 2019 as Newfoundland has it’s own time zone (seriously) a
full hour and a half ahead of New York and the countdown in Times Square. With
champagne-warmed cheeks, basking in the glow that only a new year can bring,
celebrate with storytelling and poetry while Fogo Island Inn’s Executive Chef
Jonathan Gushue and his culinary team serve up an exquisite New Year’s Eve
supper accompanied by a sustainable caviar tasting by the King of Caviar
himself, Cornel Ceapa, PhD. of Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar.
Midnight is marked by a fireworks display, gun salutes, and more.