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Travel Alberta CEO Royce Chwin update on COVID-19 for Alberta tourism partners

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| Royce Chwin

Dear partners,

I want to start by saying thank you, Team Alberta, for connecting with us over the past several weeks to share your challenges and concerns as we focus on weathering the most difficult time in history for our industry. The Travel Alberta team has been working hard behind the scenes to understand what you’re going through and the supports you need, and we appreciate your time and openness.

I especially want to thank you for continuing to inspire me and everyone at Travel Alberta with the courage and ingenuity so many of you continue to display in the face of so much adversity. Our continued connection with you is an antidote to these times while we continue to social and physical distance ourselves in order to support all those on the front lines in a variety of different capacities.

Stories of hope and resiliency

We are hearing and seeing so many incredible stories from our partners around the province.

Tourism Medicine Hat started ‘social distancing bingo’ to engage with the local community and support businesses.

Tourism Canmore Kananaskis has rallied the hospitality industry and community to help struggling workers. The Hope for Hospitality program is providing tourism and hospitality workers with prepaid gift cards to help buy groceries.

And Tourism Calgary launched ‘Love YYC from home’ to continue to foster community pride for the city and support Calgary partners in amplifying their business offerings.

These stories are just three examples of how our industry is coming together to support those who need it most. Stay tuned for more stories in the coming weeks as we head into May and Tourism Week. And if you have a story you’d like to share please let us know.

Connections LIVE

After hearing your feedback, we hosted our first Connections LIVE webinar on April 16 focusing on how to stay connected to your customers during a crisis and it was attended by almost 300 of you. If you missed it, you can access the recording.

Our next webinar is coming up this Thursday, April 23. The webinar will discuss the benefits e-commerce can bring to your business and how to use it to engage your audience, build brand loyalty and drive sales. The webinar will be hosted by Kelly Doody from Social School.

Expanded supports for businesses

As our team continues to monitor and provide updates, I wanted to highlight some further funding measures for small and medium businesses that are having trouble accessing funding through previously announced federal programs:

    Also, the federal government recently announced an expansion of the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include more contract and seasonal employees. This will hopefully provide some relief to the hard-working Albertans in our industry who rely on seasonal employment. CERB is now available if people earned $1,000 (before taxes) or less during an eligibility period. More details on the Government of Canada’s website.

    You can also find information on these and other support programs in our updated Industry Partner Toolkit.

    Hearing from me

    I’ve been delivering these messages weekly for just over a month now, and I hope you have found them useful. Moving forward, I will continue to update you bi-monthly: once via video on the regularly scheduled Connections update on the first Tuesday of every month, and then again via this written update on the third Tuesday. If we have critical information to share, in between these times, I’ll make sure to connect with you.

    At any time, if you’d like to connect with members of the Travel Alberta team please contact us.

    Take care and please stay safe,    

    Royce Chwin   
    CEO, Travel Alberta

       

    Previous CEO Messages:

    April 14, 2020

    April 7, 2020

    March 31, 2020

    March 24, 2020

    March 17, 2020

    March 3, 2020