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COVID-19 & Prince Rupert's Tourism Sector

Tourism Prince Rupert has been closely monitoring the evolving effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector in Prince Rupert. There is no doubt that we will see impacts on Prince Rupert’s tourism economy in the coming months as people practice social distancing and eliminate all non-essential travel. This will surely impact many small businesses in Prince Rupert who rely on tourism in the summer months for their bottom line. To help support you in this difficult time, we will be providing email updates regarding travel advisories, support programs for those affected, and any new federal or provincial announcements related to COVID-19 and the impacts on the tourism sector.  

 

Please be advised that the Prince Rupert Visitor Centre has been closed until further notice. The Prince Rupert Visitor Centre will continue to provide visitor services by email and phone at info@visitprincerupert.com or at 250-624-5637. We will continue to work with the Prince Rupert Port Authority to provide any new updates over the coming weeks.

Current Advisories
Federal
  • Canada will deny entry to travelers who are not Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents. Some exceptions apply.
  • Air operators have been formally mandated to prevent any travelers with symptoms to board an aircraft at point of origin to Canada.
  • International passenger flight arrivals will be redirected to four airports: Vancouver International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, and Calgary International Airport.
  • Suspended visitor services to all Parks Canada sites, including its national parks, national marine conservation areas and historic sites.
  • Canadians are strongly recommended to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada, including to the US. Anyone who chooses to travel outside Canada must self-isolate for 14 days on their return.
  • Canadians are advised to practice ‘social distancing’ to prevent further virus spread.
Provincial
  • Gatherings or events larger than 50 people are not permitted in British Columbia until further notice. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings and other similar events. For gatherings under 50, refer to PHAC’s risk considerations when deciding whether to postpone or cancel your event here.
  • Casinos, including community gaming centres and bingo halls, are closed until further notice.
  • Bars and clubs are unable to meet the requirements for social distancing and are therefore closed until further notice.
Tourism Advisories & Announcements
  • Air Canada has issued a response to COVID-19 here. *Note that all Air Canada flights from Prince Rupert (YPR) to Vancouver (YVR) will be suspended from April 1st – 30th. The Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace remains unaffected.
  • WestJet has issued a response to COVID-19 here.
  • Transport Canada: Cruise season delay announcement. Vessels carrying over 500 passengers will be barred from docking in Canada until July 1st. At this time, this represents five vessels set to dock in Prince Rupert.
  • Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced an update to the February 7 guidelines for cruise passengers and crew. The additional enhanced screening measures in response to COVID-19 are effective March 4, find them here.
  • Destination Canada has cancelled Rendez-vous Canada 2020. find the full statement here.
  • Find the Vancouver Convention Centre’s update on COVID-19 here.
The Province of BC has also created a dedicated phone service to provide British Columbians with non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages, seven days a week between 7:30 am-8 pm:
 
1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) or via text message at 1-888-268-4319.
Support & Funding Programs
In light of these advisories, we have compiled a list of support & funding programs that are available to help you and your business through this difficult time.
 
Support Programs
  • Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan includes the following Resources for Canadian Businesses:
    • A reduction of 90% of payroll taxes for companies with payrolls under $1 million
    • Liquidity measures for business that will be available through banks, other financial institutions as well as BDC and EDC
    • An emergency support benefit for those who lose their jobs and don't qualify for EI (this includes self-employed workers who have to close up shop)
    • Extending the tax filing deadline to June 1
    • Allowing taxpayers to defer tax payments until after August 31 (for amounts that are due after today and before September)
    • Temporarily boosting of the Canada Child Benefit payments, delivering about $2 billion in extra support.
    • Introduction of a new “Emergency Care Benefit” which offers up to $900 biweekly (for up to 15 weeks) to provide income support to workers who have to stay home and don't have access to paid sick leave. The measure could disburse up to $10 billion.
    • Introduction of a new six-month, interest-free reprieve on student loan payments.
    • A new Business Credit Availability Program (available through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada)
  • The Government of Canada: Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) COVID-19 update. The ESDC develops, manages and delivers social programs and services, including Employment Insurance (EI) and the Work-Sharing Program; temporary special measures have been applied to both.
  • Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD): Support for Tourism Operators and SMEs
    WD is one of the Regional Development Agencies tasked to keep Canada’s economy stable by assisting western small- and medium-sized enterprises through this difficult time.
  • Business Development Bank of Canada: Support for entrepreneurs impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19. Support includes small business loans, working capital loans, purchase order financing, and advisory service experts.
  • Canadian Bankers Association: Canada’s Six Biggest Banks Take Decisive Action to Help Customers Impacted by COVID-19. Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case‑by‑case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage financial challenges.
  • Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Dealing with Mortgage Payment Difficulties
  • BC Hydro: The COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program provides the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty. Call BC Hydro's customer team at 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) to discuss options.  
  • Information for Temporary Foreign Workers: Canadian Employment Insurance Eligibility for Temporary Foreign Workers
Checklists and Tools
The BC Chamber of Commerce also recently completed a COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, sent out through all BC Chambers, closing at 5pm on March 18th. They received 7900+ responses, and have provided the results online at the following links:
  1. An overall summary of the data
  2. A breakdown by region
  3. A breakdown by size of business
For up to date information on the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector in British Columbia, please visit https://www.destinationbc.ca/news/coronavirus-update/
 
Tourism Prince Rupert will be working hard to provide you with email updates regarding any new advisories or support programs as they are announced.

 
If you have any questions, please contact:

Ceilidh Marlow
Executive Director, Tourism Prince Rupert
Phone: 778-361-0440
Email: ceilidh@visitprincerupert.com

 

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Our mailing address is:
Tourism Prince Rupert
PO Box 236
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 4P8
Canada

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