Month: November 2020

Tourism HR Canada is honoured and delighted to announce that Philip Mondor, President and CEO, is the proud recipient of the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Industry Award 2020.

The award is presented in recognition of significant support for the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ryerson University. Specifically, it recognized Philip Mondor as an industry leader, promoting the sector to help build a world-leading tourism workforce through employment data based on rigorous research, in addition to his contributions to the School as a member of its Advisory Council and as a guest speaker in classes and student-run conferences.

“When I first learned of this, I was absolutely floored and honoured,” Philip states. “I’ve come to know the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management well through my opportunity of being part of the advisory council. I appreciate why the school has such a great reputation, because of its faculty, the program and much more—so to get this from one of Canada’s most renowned tourism schools is a true honour and privilege.”

The award was presented as part of a virtual celebration hosted by the School on November 12, 2020. Students and alumni were also honoured at the event, well attended by faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and tourism associates.

“This is an incredible honour and testament to the work that Philip has done over the years and his complete commitment to excellence in improving Canada’s tourism Industry through the people who work in it,” says Darlene Grant Fiander, Chair of the Tourism HR Canada Board of Directors. “I have had the privilege of having a front row seat to Philip’s tireless work over the years’ and his passion for improving the credibility of the sector, by investing in the tourism workforce, is unmatched. Often it is the loudest voice that is heard and recognized, often for the wrong reasons, but Philip is an example of how doing quality work consistently and having a people-first agenda that serves the broader community always matters most.”

Speaking to the many students in attendance, Philip took a moment to acknowledge the current circumstances facing the tourism sector and provide some inspiration: “Recovery will be highly dynamic and ripe for rapid growth and innovation. Demand will outpace the supply. Tourism will rely on people, mostly young people, that have the right skills. These future skills are needed by all businesses as they reinvent their business models, learn to develop and introduce new products, tap into different and more diverse markets, and become nimbler so they can respond to future disruptions. Today’s students will be essential to recovery and creating the new tourism.”

“When I think about this award,” he added, “I first think about my colleagues at Tourism HR Canada and how this award is really a testament to all the work they do. I also think about the vast network of associations, schools, and other groups, all of whom work towards making this sector thrive. It’s a great reminder of a great industry I have been proud to be part of more than 30 years.”

View the full list of the awards recipients here. Watch the recording of the awards ceremony here.

In October, tourism employment decreased by 70,400 jobs, ending five months of tourism employment recovery.

Tourism employment usually decreases in October, but since 2001 the average decrease in employment between September and October has been a mere 0.8%. This year, employment decreased by 4.1%.

There were 375,800 fewer people employed in tourism than there were in February 2020 and 431,600 fewer than in October 2019.

Data is from the week of October 11 to 17. At that time, Quebec’s two biggest cities had been in their second lockdown for over a week; this can be seen in the data, with tourism employment dropping 15.0% (58,500 jobs) in that province. Ontario did not move Toronto, Ottawa, and the Peel region into its modified Stage 2 until October 10. The province lost 10,000 tourism jobs, but employment losses associated with modified Stage 2 may not be fully captured, as this data was collected in the week immediately following the announcement.

Highlights:

  • Tourism employment declined by 70,400 in October.
  • The majority of this employment loss occurred in Quebec, which shed 58,500 jobs.
  • The tourism unemployment rate has increased to 14.5%, while the overall unemployment rate for Canada decreased slightly.
  • On a year-over-year basis, seasonally unadjusted employment across all Canadian industries was down 3.1% from October 2019. In comparison, tourism employment was down 20.6% from the same month a year ago.
  • Tourism employed 431,600 fewer individual this October than it did in October 2019.
  • In addition to lost employment, there were 420,000 jobs in the accommodation and food services and the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors being supported by the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy in September.
  • The overall economy is adding jobs (72,400 in October). People are finding work. However, tourism is shedding employment and its labour force is declining. This implies that at least some of those losing jobs in the tourism sector are finding work in other industries.

Please note: To allow comparisons with tourism sector data, which sees significant employment fluctuations over the year, we use seasonally unadjusted data for both tourism employment and overall employment.

Tourism Employment Rate

In October, employment (unadjusted for seasonality) across the entire Canadian economy increased by 72,400 jobs. At the same time, tourism employment decreased. The sector lost 68,400 full-time jobs and 2,400 part-time jobs, for a total loss of 70,400.

Most of the overall employment decrease occurred in Quebec and Ontario, which lost 58,500 jobs and 10,000 jobs, respectively.

The only tourism industry group to gain employment was the travel services industry, which added 12,200 jobs. All other industry groups shed workers.

Last October, tourism employed 2,091,000 Canadians. This October, the sector employed 1,659,400 million Canadians.

The accommodation industry lost 15.6% of its employment between September and October, losing 14,600 full-time jobs and 8,100 part-time jobs. The food and beverage services industry lost 30,500 full-time jobs while adding a small number of part-time positions. The recreation and entertainment industry lost 29,300 jobs. The transportation industry lost 2,800 jobs total—the result of a drop in full-time employment and a smaller gain in part-time employment.

Because the industry groups that make up tourism are different sizes, looking at the monthly change in employment as a percentage change relative to the previous month provides a more equitable picture of how each industry is doing. It also helps illustrate the size of the employment changes relative to those that occurred in past months.

Employment in all industry groups remains is well below pre-COVID levels. Despite employment gains in October, travel services has lost the most employment since February, down 35.1%. Following October’s employment losses, the accommodation industry has 26.3% fewer people employed than in February. Employment in recreation and entertainment, which had almost recovered during the summer, continued to fall. Employment in that industry dropped 6.9% from September to October.

On a year-over-year basis, seasonally unadjusted employment across all Canadian industries was down 3.1% from October 2019. In comparison, tourism employment was down 20.6% from the same month a year ago. By industry group, year-over-year employment losses in October ranged from -40.0% in travel services to -17.0% in food and beverage services.

Quebec and Ontario, where renewed restrictions on tourism businesses came into effect, were the main drivers of employment losses. Tourism employment decreased by 58,500 in Quebec and 10,000 in Ontario. The remaining provinces saw a mix of gains and losses, with Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia all showing employment gains. In terms of a percentage, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick saw the most significant employment losses after Quebec.

Employment in all provinces remains well short of 2019 levels. In October, on a year-over-year basis, the greatest loss of employment has been seen in Saskatchewan (-29.2%), Quebec (-28.9%), and Newfoundland and Labrador (-23.5%).

Tourism Unemployment Rate

In October 2020, the unemployment rate in the tourism sector was at 14.5%, which is 9.9 percentage points higher than the rate reported in October 2019, and higher than the previous month (September 2020) when the unemployment rate stood at 13.4%.

At 14.5%, tourism’s unemployment rate was above Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 8.1%. All tourism industry groups, except for travel services, have reported higher unemployment rates than the same month last year.

Unemployment Rate
Tourism Industry Group[1]

October 2019

September 2020

October 2020

Tourism 4.6% 13.4% 14.5%
Accommodations 7.0% 18.7% 20.5%
Food & Beverage Services 4.9% 12.8% 13.4%
Recreation & Entertainment 5.0% 14.6% 16.4%
Transportation 2.9% 8.2% 11.0%
Travel Services N/A 30.1% 23.5%

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 7.6% in Saskatchewan to 20.4% in Quebec.

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for tourism in each province, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, were above the rates reported for the provincial economy.

Precarious Employment

In October, tourism employed 432,000 fewer people than it did one year prior. Not only were fewer people employed, but as of September, there were 420,000 jobs in the accommodation and food services and the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors being supported by the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

Since the October labour force survey data has been collected, there have been new restrictions placed on business activity in Manitoba and Ontario, and the potential for additional restrictions remains very high.

Supporting businesses through this period will be incredibly important for the eventual recovery of the tourism sector. Just as important will be retaining the existing workforce. The CEWS is absolutely necessary for the industry, as shown by number of workers being supported by it.

Data from the labour force survey suggests that the sector is starting to lose former workers to other industries.

The total labour force is measured by counting those who are employed and those who are actively seeking work. When the pandemic struck, the size of the labour force shrank as many lost their jobs but did not immediately seek new work. As restrictions were lifted, people returned to existing jobs or started seeking new employment.

One good piece of news in all of this is that the size of the total labour force in October was greater than it was in February. This is good news because it means that, so far, those who are unemployed are still seeking jobs. They are not becoming discouraged and dropping out of the labour force entirely (i.e., not working and not seeking work, either).

In tourism, the story is different. The total labour force grew through the summer but never returned to the size it was in February. Then, it began to shrink September and October. The September decline will have been caused by students returning to school and is not concerning. If they do not look for work while studying, students are not considered unemployed. The tourism labour force always shrinks in September for this reason.

The October reduction is ominous. Employment is continuing to rise in the economy as a whole. People are finding work. However, tourism is shedding employment and our labour force is declining. This implies that those losing jobs in the tourism sector are finding work in other industries.

For individuals, it is important that they find work that is available. We do not want to take away from the fact that an overall increase in employment is good. However, there are negative implications for tourism as a sector. Tourism will not truly start to recover until global travel restrictions are lifted, and the cycle of on/off restrictions on gatherings and social interaction stabilizes. If that occurs in early 2021, next summer will offer tourism businesses their opportunity to begin rebuilding.

If, in the meantime, tourism workers move permanently to other jobs, the industry will be unable to meet the pent-up demand for travel that will occur. For the sector to thrive once the other side of this pandemic is reached, we must not only keep tourism businesses viable, we must do so in a way that allows them to retain employees.


[1] As defined by the Canadian Tourism Satellite Account. The NAICS industries included in the tourism sector are those that would cease to exist or operate at a significantly reduced level of activity as a direct result of an absence of tourism.

Future Skills Framework LogoTourism HR Canada has now held over 50 sessions with industry professionals from across the country to review individual skills—or competencies—required across tourism, as part of the Future Skills Framework project.

We now have a fully validated framework, marking an important milestone in the project.

These individual competencies will be the ‘building blocks’ for a wide variety of occupational charts: a comprehensive set of skills that define a particular occupation. These charts will form the backbone of new National Occupational Standards, upon which all our Emerit certification and training is based.

We are now inviting industry professionals across a wide range of occupations to join us in reviewing these occupational charts on Zoom from 1:00 PM to 3.30 PM Eastern Time.

Please RSVP to info@tourismhr.ca if you have experience in the following occupations and want to join us on the listed date:

  • Nov 23: Tour Guide & Tour Director
  • Nov 25: Front Desk Agent
  • Dec 4: Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor
  • Dec 8: Housekeeping Room Attendant & Director of Housekeeping
  • Dec 10: Kitchen Helper, Line Cook, Food Counter Attendant
  • Dec 17: Food and Beverage Manager

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you know of others who would like to be involved in this key phase of the project, please share this article with them.

 

Results from new national research indicate that 90% of Canadian LGBT+ travellers intend to travel domestically this year amidst international travel uncertainty. This represents a $12 billion leisure travel opportunity for a tourism sector devastated by COVID-19.

Is your business market-ready? Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce and Tourism HR Canada are eager to help you welcome LGBT+ travellers to your region! National LGBT+ Tourism Project programming is available for free for a limited time thanks to funding from the Government of Canada.

We are pleased to now share two engaging digital workshops: we continue to offer Navigating LGBT+ Diversity and Inclusion in the Tourism Industry and are excited to launch our LGBT+ Travel Market-Ready Seminars. Register today for one or both!

Navigating LGBT+ Diversity and Inclusion in the Tourism Industry

Included in this workshop is a self-paced online course to first get you up to speed on the many different LGBT+ communities. Once you also attend the four-hour web-based workshop, you’ll leave with a certificate acknowledging your participation and action items to transform your workplace into an LGBT+ safe space. Registration is available now for dates through November and December.

LGBT+ Travel Market-Ready Seminars

This two-hour webinar will share exclusive LGBT+ travel market info and case studies of best practices from around the world, as well as exposing you to a number of custom LGBT+ products to help inspire your own successful LGBT+ tourism welcoming strategy. Registration is available now for dates through to the end of January. 

Sharing is Caring

To help you spread the word amongst your networks, we’ve created a toolkit with drafted social posts and copy for your newsletter, plus a digital poster. If you share on social, we’ll amplify your organization on our social media channels.

Please reach out to tourismcommunications@cglcc.ca if you have any questions or want to learn more about our custom workshops.

Building Strategic Community Partnerships, the third in a new series of free webinars designed for business owners, operators, and entrepreneurs, is now available for viewing.

Tourism’s revival and growth is dependent on the ability of tourism businesses to engage in community-led strategies. This webinar looks at how to harness resources to create a destination that is ready and willing to accept visitors. The session includes tips on building consumer confidence that will help bolster the efforts made by tourism businesses to be safe and welcoming.

Watch the Building Strategic Community Partnerships webinar here.

Download the presentation slides here.

The webinar series features topics from TourismRecovery.ca. Each one-hour session will include practical information and guidance on how to address issues that will help businesses recover, sustain operations, and be more resilient.

Next in the TourismRecovery.ca webinar series:

Adapting to New Market Realities: Products, Pricing, Placement, Positioning

Tuesday, November 24 – 2:00 PM ET

With a focus on marketing and communications, this webinar will help small businesses revisit business strategies to align products and services with new and different markets. The session will include tips on developing a sales and marketing plan for new markets.

Register here to join this session.

Workforce Power Session

Wednesday, December 9 – 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help employers navigate challenging staffing issues, exploring ways to recalibrate the staffing structure, plans to help employees transition back to work or new roles, and best practices to support employees with managing difficult circumstances such as transitioning to different jobs or coping with mental health needs.

Register here to join this session.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced enormous change on the Canadian economy with very little advance warning. New protocols and restrictions were put into place to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

Since COVID-19 closed international borders, Canada’s tourism numbers have reduced drastically. The pandemic has had a massive impact on the tourism sector and its workforce.

Tourism HR Canada sought to measure the effect of COVID-19 on tourism businesses’ operational status and staffing needs, as well as their ability to access government supports, such as the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. We fielded the COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Impact Survey between June 10 and July 12, 2020. The survey received 605 valid responses from tourism operators across the country, representing a range of geographic locations and business types.

We released the report summarizing the national findings in August.

Today, we are pleased to release a new report detailing the responses by region, industry group, and business location (rural/urban).

Download the COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Impact Report - Summer 2020

Tourism HR Canada will continue to track the pandemic’s impact with further studies to take place in 2021. Subscribe to Tourism HR Insider to be notified when the next survey is launched.

Commissioned by Tourism HR Canada and produced by Statistics Canada, the Tourism Human Resource Module (previously the Provincial-Territorial Human Resource Module), provides statistics on the number of full-year jobs in the tourism sector. This information will provide an important benchmark against which to study our sector during the COVID-19 era.

The most recent update of the Tourism HRM shows there were over 1.9 million full-year jobs in the tourism sector in 2019.

The Tourism HRM provides statistics for the entire sector and each of its five industry groups. This includes data on jobs, hours worked, compensation, and educational attainment. These statistics are available by sex, by work status, by age group, by immigrant status, and by occupation.

The number of jobs reported in the Tourism HRM is different from the job numbers reported by Statistics Canada’s National Tourism Indictors (NTI).

The NTI reports on “jobs due to tourism”. These are all the jobs in Canada supported by the money tourists spend, and includes some jobs outside the tourism sector.

The Tourism HRM reports on “jobs in tourism industries”. These are all the jobs within all five tourism industry groups that can be further subdivided into the 29 specific industries that are considered part of the tourism sector. Many of these jobs are supported by spending by local residents, particularly in industries such as food and beverage services and recreation and entertainment, which derive significant revenues from locals as well as tourists.

Figure 1: Jobs in Tourism Industries vs Jobs Attributed to Tourism Demand

Below we highlight some of the key information from the 2019 Tourism Human Resource Module. A further summary of key statistics is available from Statistics Canada and the complete dataset will be uploaded to our Rapid reSearch resource shortly. Subscribe to Tourism HR Insider to be the first to know when this data is available.

For specific data requests, please email research@tourismhr.ca.

Highlights from the 2019 Tourism Human Resource Module

Figure 2: Tourism Jobs – Total by Province and Territory (2019)

 

 

Last Thursday, Statistics Canada released the latest data on monthly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by industry. The data for August 2020 showed that total economic activity in Canada had recovered, but was not yet back at pre-pandemic levels.

The following analysis uses the January 2020 GDP level as the base against which to compare all other months. January’s GDP is set to 100 for each industry and each subsequent month is shown as a percent of that baseline. This shows how tourism-related industries have been impacted compared to overall economic activity.

Across all industries in Canada’s economy, GDP rose very slightly in February, but in the following two months GDP plummeted compared to January. In March and April, overall GDP was at 92.9% and 82.1% of the baseline level, respectively. In the following months, economic activity rebounded, but still only reaching 95.7% of January’s levels in August.

COVID-19 was proving a significant economic drag even before the second wave began to emerge this fall.

Certain industries were hit quite severely, but have since rebounded. Retail, for example, dropped to 70.9% of the baseline in April, but had fully recovered, at 101.6% of January’s levels. However, this comes with a caveat: the rebound is driven by online shopping—as evidenced by the closure of many brick-and-mortar retail chains—and is not evenly spread across all types of retail establishments. Other industries such as agriculture, finance and insurance, and real estate suffered smaller losses of economic activity in March and April, quickly recovered, and are now operating above January’s baseline in terms of economic activity.

Tourism-related industries have not been so lucky. Amongst all tourism-related industries measured[1], economic activity dropped to 41.8% of baseline levels and had only recovered to 61.7% as of August. The food services industry dropped even lower, down to 37.7% in April, although it recovered somewhat over the summer, reaching 76.2% in August.

The accommodation industry was severely hit in April and May. In those months, economic activity was just over 30% of baseline levels. Some recovery has since occurred, but only to 61.5% in August. Looking ahead, the fall is usually a time of lower economic activity for Canadian hotels, resorts, and campgrounds, as demand driven by summer travellers drops off.

By far the hardest hit tourism-related industry was air transportation[2] when travel was essentially halted. Compared to the January baseline, economic activity fell to 3.5% in both April and May. The rebound—if it can be called that—has been negligible. In August, GDP in the air transportation industry was only at 10.3% of what it had been at the start of the year.

Statistics Canada. Table 36-10-0434-01 Gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices, by industry, monthly (x 1,000,000)


[1] Accommodation services, Air transportation, Amusement and recreation industries, Automotive equipment rental and leasing, Food services and drinking places, Gambling industries, Motion picture and sound recording industries, Other transit and ground passenger transportation and scenic and sightseeing transportation, Performing arts, spectator sports and related industries, and heritage institutions, Rail transportation, Taxi and limousine service, Travel arrangement and reservation services, Urban transit systems, Water transportation

[2] North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2012. The air transportation subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in for-hire, common-carrier transportation of people and/or goods using aircraft, such as airplanes and helicopters.

 

The closing of businesses has hit the tourism sector particularly hard, and the recovery has not been as strong as in other industries.

Statistics Canada tracks the number of businesses opening, closing, and remaining active.[1] Closing businesses are those that had at least one employee in the previous month, but no employees in the current month. This can be caused by a firm going out of business or closing temporarily or permanently, or a seasonal firm ceasing business activity for the year. Active businesses are those businesses that reported having one or more employees in a given month.

Tourism has a large number of small businesses. In 2019, 72.1% of businesses had fewer than 20 employees. Small businesses tend to turn over rapidly. In 2019, there were roughly 2,500 businesses opening and closing each month in the accommodation and food services industry, out of roughly 60,000 active businesses.

A high turnover rate certainly, but the general trend saw slightly more openings than closings each month. Despite business turnover, the industry grew.

While smaller, the story was similar in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector. Out of roughly 14,500 active businesses, 750-800 opened in a given month, while another 750-800 closed. Again, each month slightly more businesses opened than closed.

With restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the number of businesses closing in these two sectors jumped from 3,309 in February to 6,608 in March and then 11,178 in April, before slowly dropping in May and June and settling into a more standard pattern in July.

As the number of restrictions on businesses lifted, the number of businesses closing dropped, while the number of openings rose. Openings started to rise earlier in the accommodation and food services sector than in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

It is in the effect on active businesses that the real impact of these trends can be seen. Before the pandemic, there were 63,000 active accommodation and recreation businesses and 14,500 active arts, entertainment and recreation businesses. By July, that number had dropped to 51,200 and 11,622 active businesses, respectively. A total loss of 14,600 businesses.

Since the pandemic began, the number of active businesses has declined across most sectors. In April, the number of open retail businesses dropped to 85.5% its average level for the months from January 2019 to February 2020. Manufacturing had dropped to 90.1% its average level.

While the total number of active businesses has recovered, it has not reached the pre-pandemic level.

The recovery has been most subdued in the tourism-related sectors. As of July, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector was only back to 80.2% its average number of active businesses, while the accommodation and food services sector was only slightly ahead at 81.4%. In comparison, the retail and manufacturing sectors were back to about 90% their average number of active businesses.


[1] Statistics Canada. Table 33-10-0270-01 Experimental estimates for business openings and closures for Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas, seasonally adjusted

By Joe Baker, Tourism HR Canada Board Member and OTEC’s Strategic Advisor

Originally published in Canadian Lodging News

As we experience change in seasons, the challenges ahead of the Canadian hospitality and tourism industry are continuously formidable. And so are its leaders and its workforce. Ever resilient, we are trained to persevere in the face of complexity and disruption.

As challenging as 2020 has been, many of us are looking ahead to the days of containing this destructive virus, restoring consumer confidence and fighting to bring back business levels across all segments of our industry. While our attention may be currently focused on damage control, risk mitigation and the eternal 2020 call for change leadership, let’s take a moment to be strategic about the future foundation of our business – our people.

We have spent a lot of time exploring how damaging this pandemic has been on our workforce. Let’s now turn to looking at early projections of the recovery cycle. Tourism HR Canada reports that employment in Canada’s tourism sector will not return to 2019 levels until the year 2023. The accommodation industry specifically, will not be returning to 2019 employment levels until 2024.

This data may take a moment to digest. But now that we have some future projections, lets focus on how we can begin to build a talent pipeline to support our businesses as the world struggles out of this pandemic.

It was not too long ago that the Canadian hospitality and tourism industry was facing a pretty acute labour shortage. While many businesses are currently navigating through the challenges of layoffs and terminations, believe it or not some operators are still in a position to be actively hiring. Many of these operators are reporting further labour challenges. Anecdotal evidence suggests the CERB and EI options are more appealing than returning to work at present. I do not believe this will always be the case, so let’s continue to look forward.

What’s unique about the projections for the tourism industry recovery and by extension, the growth in employment opportunities, is the timeline itself. We need to be thoughtful now about our talent strategy for the future so we are not caught underprepared when things start picking up. Even amidst a global pandemic, there are still cohorts of students just beginning their college and university programs across the country and around the world. With an average program length of 2 – 4 years, these eventual graduates will be some of the freshest sources of talent for our next normal – Tourism 2.0.

Colleges and universities currently attract a mix of domestic and international students. The hospitality and tourism focused student body is not unlike the diversity within the industry workforce.  Tourism HR Canada reports that tourism provides significant employment for young people. The 2016 census showed that 560,000 youth (age 15—24) worked in tourism. They make up 31 per cent of Canada’s tourism workforce, compared to only 13 per cent of the overall labour force and population. The tourism sector is also a significant source of employment for newcomers to Canada. The 2016 census showed that 28 per cent of tourism employees were immigrants or non-permanent residents.

What does this mean to you as an operator in 2020? It means that while this year has been devastating, there are still courageous people from within our communities and around the world hitting the digital books to learn how to build their careers in the Canadian hospitality and tourism industry. Wherever your business is located, you can be sure there is a college or university close by with hospitality and tourism programs. This also presents an opportunity to re-connect with your local institute of higher learning. Our workforce of the future will benefit from hearing the voices of those who built their own careers in this sector and those fighting for the future of Canadian tourism.

Welcome the class of 2022, 2023 and 2024 into your organization as we return to the bright future we have worked so hard to create. There are many ways industry organizations can build bridges with post-secondary institutions. We need to create collaboration now more than ever. Become a program advisor, a guest lecturer, a sponsor of work-integrated learning or a supporter of career events. This may all seem like a lesser priority considering the challenges your organization may be facing today. But if we want to climb back to 2019 levels of business success, we need to continue to encourage young Canadians and future Canadians to choose careers in hospitality and tourism.

For more insight into the potential impact these graduates can have in your workplaces, be sure to join me at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Tourism Congress on November 17 and 18. I will be delivering a TIAC Talk titled “International Students: Canada’s Emerging Tourism Talent.” Registration is free this year and it is completely online at www.tourismcongress.ca

Joe Baker has recently joined OTEC as a Systems Leadership and Integrated Strategy Advisor. In his new position, he focuses on supporting tourism industry recovery efforts in collaboration with the many organizations involved in several active projects and initiatives. He is an experienced speaker, facilitator and writer.  Contact him at: jbaker@otec.org