Author: Tourism HR Canada

The Government of Canada has announced that its Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) will soon be accepting applications, with the launch planned for March 3, 2022. This will be an opportunity for eligible small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including tourism businesses, to access grants, expert digital advice, 0% interest loans, and work placements to help boost their e-commerce presence and digitize how they run their businesses.

The program will be delivered through two streams: CDAP Stream 1 will help SMEs take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, while Stream 2 will help businesses develop and implement digital adoption plans and leverage youth placements to help apply new digital tools.

Click here to download a one-page overview of the program or click here to visit the CDAP website.

Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey data is from the week of January 9 to 15, 2022. The surge of Omicron over this period led to increased business closures and a loss of 200,000 jobs across the economy (based on seasonally adjusted data; unadjusted data shows a decline of 484,900 jobs from December to January[1]).

Tourism jobs were most impacted, with declines largely driven by Ontario and Quebec. Youth (15 to 24 years old) and women 25 to 54 years old were most impacted by the forced closures—key demographics that make up the tourism workforce.

Though the tourism industry saw unexpected employment gains in November 2021 which held steady as we headed into the holiday season, the repercussions of rising COVID-19 case counts and public health measures driven by the Omicron variant in late December 2021 and early January 2022 were felt quite heavily on employment across the entire economy.

It is typical for seasonally unadjusted employment to drop in the winter months; however, this past month brought unprecedented declines.

Tourism employment decreased in January by 176,000 from the previous month; a 10.1% month-over-month decline. Total employment now sits at 1,567,300, down from 1,743,300 the month before.

It is also common for the seasonally unadjusted employment rate and employment across all industries to decline in January. As mentioned, the unemployment rate for all industries in Canada has also risen this past month—from 5.4% in December to 6.8% in January. For the Canadian economy as a whole, seasonally unadjusted employment declined by 484,900 in January 2022—this decrease marks the largest monthly decline since January 2021.

The employment decreases in both tourism and the broader economy were due to large decreases in part-time employment. Part-time employment in the tourism industry dropped by 122,600 (or 16.5%), while full-time employment declined by 53,400 (or 5.3%).

It is typical to see a drop in tourism employment between the months of December and January (Fig. 1). For example, between December 2016 and January 2017 there was a decline of 9,200; the next year saw a reduction of 22,300 in employment numbers, and a 4,600 drop in employment was recorded between December 2018 and January 2019. Again, increases in tourism employment are highly unusual for this month, but the previous two years have been extreme outliers which have been exacerbated by the economic impact of COVID-19 outbreaks and responsive social policies.

Figure 1

In January 2022, the unemployment rate in the tourism sector was 11.9%—more than double the previous month (December 2021), when the unemployment rate for tourism stood at 5.2%. A year-over-year comparison does provide important context, however, as the present rate of 11.9% is substantially lower than the 18.6% rate reported in January 2021 (Fig. 2).

All tourism industry groups reported lower unemployment rates than the same month last year.

Figure 2

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 2.7% in Manitoba to 18.9% in New Brunswick (Fig. 3). The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for tourism in each province, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and Alberta, were above the rates reported for the provincial economy.

Figure 3

When looking at January 2022 employment within the various tourism industry groups, the most significant decreases from the previous month were in the food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, and the accommodations industries (Fig. 4).

Figure 4

Year-over-year analysis shows that, when compared to the same month in 2021, there has been growth in accommodations and recreation and entertainment along with a slight uptick in transportation employment. Nevertheless, when compared to the 2019 benchmark, each sector has declined between 15% and 32% from January 2019 numbers (Fig. 5).

Figure 5

As we look to the coming months, it is important to recognize that from November to December 2021, Canada’s tourism industry was in recovery mode, with positive gains across key labour market indicators. Public health measures are changing in several provinces, and it is therefore possible that this previous employment momentum will re-emerge as restrictions are eased across the country.


[1] Seasonally adjusted data in a time series has been modified to eliminate the effect of seasonal and calendar influences such as peak seasons of economic activity and monthly holidays.  It allows for comparisons of economic conditions from period to period and sector to sector without variations that may reflect significant seasonal changes that typify industries like tourism. Unadjusted data in a time series is also referred to as a “raw” or “original” time series before seasonal adjustments. For further details, please visit this Statistics Canada webpage.

Enduring 24 months of the pandemic has led many tourism operators and workers to express feelings of despair, loneliness, and uncertainty. The collective and cumulative fatigue is evidence of a very tired workforce that needs a lot of support. The labour shortage is expected to be long-lasting—it may be a decade or more before the industry reaches pre-pandemic employment levels. Despite the ongoing uncertainties and current situation, the industry has demonstrated resilience and innovation, and there are increasing signs of optimism as restrictions are lifted.

FOCUSED ON WORKFORCE RECOVERY

Tourism, at its core, is a people business and one that relies on a skilled workforce to capitalize on its economic potential for Canada. Re-opening tourism businesses and guiding their recovery requires an all-of-sector approach. A workforce recovery strategy will require flexibility, coordination, and resources to ensure it is responsive to urgent demands and is economically and socially viable over the long term. Fundamentally, the aim must strive for a cohesive strategy to address systemic and structural issues, improve on the sector’s resilience, and strengthen its capacity as a key economic driver.

Tourism HR Canada is working with industry stakeholders from across Canada to address short-term and long-term workforce recovery issues, with an overall aim to grow the supply of workers and hold on to those we have while improving the quality of work.

Currently, Tourism HR Canada is focused on six areas as part of a comprehensive workforce recovery framework:

  1. Comprehensive attraction and retention strategy
  2. Tools to help employers manage new HR demands
  3. Recovery programs and services for reskilling and upskilling
  4. Digitalization strategy to enhance business resilience
  5. Supporting workforce policy and advocacy efforts
  6. Continued workforce/LMI research to inform strategies

A PLAN SHAPED BY YOUR NEEDS AND IDEAS

A comprehensive workforce recovery strategy can only be informed by a broad cross-section of stakeholders from across Canada. We need your help by providing recommendations and ideas and by implementing new tools and strategies to address the issues. Watch for further information and opportunities to engage, including participation in roundtables, hearing or contributing to expert presentations, and ability to supply written submissions. (Soon, we’ll be dedicating a special edition of the newsletter to this topic.)

REASON FOR OPTIMISM

A well-qualified workforce is a prerequisite for economic growth, and tourism is uniquely positioned to contribute to the national economic recovery. Demand for travel and tourism is expected to rebound with exponential growth potential. With a comprehensive, industry-led workforce recovery and growth plan, and the support of governments, tourism can emerge strengthened and more resilient.

Tourism Saskatchewan’s new Make Safe online course gives hospitality employees practical and effective tools to recognize, respond to, and reduce sexual harassment in the workplace. The Make Safe program was developed jointly by Tourism Saskatchewan and Tourism HR Canada, and is available nationally.

Make Safe shows frontline staff how to “See it. Say it. Stop it.” The course is presented in five online modules. Each takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Content identifies what constitutes sexual violence, how to mitigate it and how to take a zero-tolerance approach.

Enrolment is free until May 31. Click here to register for Make Safe, and use the discount code MAKESAFE2022 at checkout.

For more information, contact Kari Burgess at (306) 933-5913, kari.burgess@tourismsask.com.

The tourism industry is facing an unprecedented shortfall of workers and major structural challenges impacting its workforce. The labour shortage is expected to be long-lasting—it may be a decade or more before the industry reaches pre-pandemic employment levels.

In response, Tourism HR Canada has initiated a three-year project funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to tackle Canada’s tourism workforce recovery and to restart tourism by securing a skilled, diverse, and resilient workforce.

We are calling on you—tourism industry leaders, business owners, workers, educators, and students—to assist in providing information, ideas, and advice for this workforce recovery project through several new Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups.

Beyond dealing with the immediate crisis, Tourism HR Canada wants to prepare our industry for the future. As a progressive stakeholder in the tourism sector, this is an opportunity to lend your expertise, opinions, and support to an integral initiative to expedite recovery and build a more resilient industry. Furthermore, this project aims to align activities and outcomes to meet some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

What Is the Aim of the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups?

Led by Tourism HR Canada, the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups’ overall aim is to support the project team by providing recommendations to align the project with the realities experienced by the sector and by sharing a wide range of ideas to ensure the representation of diverse tourism stakeholders from across Canada.

How Will Working Group Members Contribute?

We are striking these strategic working groups to assist us with several facets of the work being conducted over the next three years. We’re seeking participants who can provide insights and advice on the resources we will be developing—this could include guiding the direction of the resources, pilot-testing them once developed, and validating them for use across Canada.

Specifically, we are seeking Working Group members for the following initiatives:

  • eLearning and microlearning courses for entry-to-practice and other core skill-specific learning to better prepare the workforce as the industry emerges from the impact of the pandemic and looks to once again be one of the fastest growing industries (as it was pre-COVID). These resources will be part of our Emerit product offering as we focus on building and updating products to better serve the sector’s labour needs.
  • A new micro-credentialling model and related resources (training and assessment) for high-demand skills areas that further promote improved diversity, inclusion, and anti-oppressive practices and for skills areas that have high transferability/marketability in the labour market. This focus on retooling skills is in direct response to the pandemic, with the aim of accelerating the recovery of the tourism workforce.
  • Development/update of four Emerit Professional Certification programs for management and executive roles.
  • Suite of new online, customizable workforce management tools for employers and intermediaries (e.g., career development practitioners, educators) to foster stronger attachments to the workforce for both job seekers and workers.
  • Enhancements and new competencies for the Emerit Workforce Management Engine (WME), an online platform that enables users to access, and use, the tourism competency framework (developed as the Future Skills Framework). It provides National Occupational Standards validated by industry, and users can build their own job descriptions and skills checklists to aid their work and identify skills gaps.
  • A secure, stable, and adaptive learning management infrastructure to support post-pandemic priorities and enable the organization to adapt, evolve, and execute a digital strategy to help businesses address essential workforce needs.

What Commitment Is Required?

Involvement in any Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Group is voluntary and flexible. Activities may include pilot-testing learning tools, ratifying or reviewing provided information, and attendance in working sessions/meetings throughout the three-year project.

Learn More

For more information on this new initiative or to get involved in one or more of the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups, please contact dmaxwell@tourismhr.ca by February 18, 2022. The Terms of Reference with further details will be provided. Working Group members will be invited to join based on their personal knowledge, breadth of experience, and capability to add to the dialogue at meetings.


COMING SOON: A Pan-Canadian Tourism Workforce Recovery & Growth Task Force will also be formed in the coming weeks. This group will support the efforts of the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups by providing advice and information to address short-term and long-term systemic and structural issues facing the tourism sector. Be sure to subscribe to Tourism HR Insider for updates.

Late last week, annual labour force survey data for the tourism sector was released. That data shows the stark, ongoing impact of the pandemic on tourism employment. In 2019, tourism employed almost 2.1 million workers. In 2020, this fell to 1.62 million workers, and only rose 2.2% in 2021. There were 1.66 million tourism employees in 2021—that’s 413,500 fewer than in 2019.

Tourism HR Canada will review the annual data and release a full report in the coming months.

Data for the month of December was also published last week. Tourism employment increased for the second month in a row, rising by 8,100, or 0.5%. Data was collected the week of December 5th to 11th, before most Omicron-related restrictions started to be implemented, and therefore do not capture the results of business closures and layoffs later in the month.

Across the entire economy, seasonally adjusted employment rose by 55,000 in December. But the seasonally unadjusted data, which captures the actual number of individuals gaining or losing work, showed employment falling by 13,700. For December, that is a very small employment drop—hence the gain in jobs once seasonal adjustments are made.

Whether using adjusted or unadjusted data, total employment was much higher than in February 2020, the month before the pandemic set in, and than it was in December 2019, to look at the same month prior to COVID. Yet tourism employment remains significantly suppressed, down 16.1% compared to December 2019—even before taking into account tourism job losses that occurred later in the month.

Highlights:

  • As of early December, 1,743,300 individuals were working in the tourism sector.
  • The travel services industry gained 3,800 full-time employees and 3,700 part-time employees, for a total employment gain of 7,500, a 29.6% increase relative to November.
  • In December 2021, the unemployment rate in the tourism sector was at 5.2%.
  • Compared to November, tourism employment increased by 6.7% in Prince Edward Island, 7.3% in Nova Scotia, and 7.6% in Saskatchewan. Smaller employment gains occurred in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec.
  • The total number of unemployed individuals fell for the fourth month in a row this December.
  • The participation rate for individuals aged 15 to 64 is higher than it was two years ago.
  • Job vacancies fell in October (the most recent month for which there is data), but quarterly job vacancy data shows the massive shortfalls tourism industries experienced this summer.

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

Tourism employment increased for the second month in a row in December. The increase in employment was small: an additional 8,100 employees were gained in the sector, an increase of 0.5%. Still, the data for November and December does show that the industry was adding staff in preparation for the holiday season. Increasing employment in November and December contrasts strongly with the trendline from 2020, when employment fell throughout the fall and early winter (see Figure 1). As of early December, 1,743,300 individuals were working in the tourism sector’s five industry groups. This is 172,800 more employed workers than at this time last year. However, compared to the same month in 2019, over 333,000 fewer individuals worked in the tourism sector this December.

Both full-time and part-time tourism employment increased in December, although this trend varied greatly by industry group (see Figure 2).

The travel services industry gained 3,800 full-time employees and 3,700 part-time employees, for a total employment gain of 7,500, a 29.6% increase relative to November. Employment in the accommodations industry grew 3.8%, mostly in part-time positions, as was the case in the transportation industry, which grew 3.4% overall.

There was no employment change in the food and beverage services industry due to a loss of part-time employees that offset a gain of 5,200 full-time employees. Recreation and entertainment was the only industry where employment was lost in December, falling 3.4% due to a loss of both full-time and part-time workers.

Tourism employment has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels (see Figure 3). Employment is also lower in all industry groups than in December 2019 (see Figure 4).

Despite December’s employment decrease, the recreation and entertainment industry remains closest to pre-pandemic levels of employment. Relative to February 2020, employment in this industry is down 10.1%. Employment levels in the transportation industry are down 11.9% and employment in food and beverage services is down 13.9% when compared to the same month.

While December saw a significant increase in travel services employment, employment is still down 45.1% compared to the last month before pandemic-induced shutdowns began. Employment in the accommodations industry is down 18.0% compared to February 2020.

That said, due to seasonal variability in employment levels within some industries, comparison to the same month in 2019 can provide a better picture of how employment is holding up (see Figure 4). By this metric, the accommodations industry is doing much worse, with employment down 24.8% compared to December 2019. This is also true of food and beverage services, where employment is down 17.8%.

The travel services industry still has a long way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels of employment, but the last two months are an improvement compared to this past October, when employment in that industry was down 62.9% compared to the same month in 2019. As of December, employment levels have improved but remain down 48.0% compared to December 2019.

Across all industries in the Canadian economy, employment had increased 1.5% compared to December 2019, while employment in the tourism industry remained down 16.1%, a decrease of 333,900 individuals.


Tourism Unemployment

For several months, we have not reported the tourism sector’s unemployment rate. This was because once a person has been unemployed for more than a year, Statistic Canada no longer attaches that individual to their former industry. In April and May of 2021, the unemployment rate for tourism dropped precipitously. This was partially due to the reclassification of unemployed former tourism workers into the “unclassified” industry category.

With overall unemployment levels returning to pre-pandemic levels (see below), it is time to start tracking tourism unemployment once more (see Figure 5). This will be particularly important in the coming months, as many tourism workers who were employed in early December will have lost employment due to the spread of the Omicron variant.

In December 2021, the unemployment rate in the tourism sector was at 5.2%, which is 9.5 percentage points lower than the rate reported in December 2020, and unchanged from the previous month (November 2021).

At 5.2%, tourism’s unemployment rate was below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.4%.

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 3.5% in Manitoba to 14.1% in New Brunswick (see Figure 6).

Provincial Tourism Employment

A few provinces saw substantial increases in tourism employment this December. Compared to November, tourism employment increased by 6.7% in Prince Edward Island, 7.3% in Nova Scotia, and 7.6% in Saskatchewan. Smaller employment gains occurred in Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. In Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, tourism employment decreased relative to November.

In most provinces, tourism employment was substantially higher than in December 2020. But compared to the same month in 2019, tourism employment was lower in all provinces, except for Prince Edward Island, where tourism employment was up 4.4% compared to December 2019 (see Figure 7). However, because the Labour Force Survey is based on a sample, and P.E.I. has a small population, that data should be interpreted with caution. Tourism employment in the province is highly seasonal and a recovery in December does not mean employment will also recover this summer.

Job Vacancies

The number of job vacancies in the accommodation and food services sector fell sharply in October, although it remains at historically high levels. The job vacancy rate fell from 14.0% to 11.0% (see Figure 8). Despite the decrease, at 11% there was still one vacant job for for every 10 positions within the sector.

The historically high nature of vacancies in tourism-related sectors can be seen in the quarterly vacancy data, which starts in 2015. The vacancy rate (the number of vacancies as a percentage of total available positions) has shot upward in the accommodation and food services industries since the start of 2021 (see Figure 9).

Figure 8 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0372-01  Job vacancies, payroll employees, and job vacancy rate by industry sector, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality

Figure 9 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0326-01  Job vacancies, payroll employees, job vacancy rate, and average offered hourly wage by industry sector, quarterly, unadjusted for seasonality

Employment by Sector

In December, most sectors of the economy employed more workers than they did two years ago. And there were more employed workers as well. Seasonally unadjusted employment has increased by 283,300 since since December 2019. Among the six sectors where employment levels are still lower than they were pre-pandemic, the accommodation and food services sector has lost the most employees by far (see Figure 10).

Figure 10 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0036-01  Actual hours worked by industry, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality

Total Unemployed and Unemployment Rate

The number of unemployed individuals fell for the fourth month in a row this December. There were 49,500 more unemployed workers this December than in December 2019, but the number of unemployed workers was also lower than in January and February of 2020. It was also lower than in November 2019. Thus, the number of people seeking work is back to pre-pandemic levels (see Figure 11).

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.4% in December (the adjusted rate was 5.9%).  This is likely to change when January’s data is released, as the restrictions put in place to counter the spread of the Omicron variant will have put people out of work—particularly in the tourism industry. Unemployment will increase, although the restrictions may be shorter lived than during past waves. If so, workers will be more likely to return to their former jobs. The longer the businesses are closed, or operating at limited capacity, the more likely it is that yet more tourism workers will find employment in other industries.

Figure 11 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0017-01  Labour force characteristics by sex and detailed age group, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality (x 1,000)

Not in the Labour Force – Not Employed, Not Seeking Work

The number of people not actively engaging in the labour force continued to increase in December (see Figure 12). This is a common trend for this time of year. The number of people not active in the labour force (not employed or actively seeking a job), usually climbs through the fall and early winter before declining again starting in February or March.

The number of people who were not in the labour force but wanted to work also increased slightly, by 8,800. These are individuals who may be enticed to return to work. However, there are barriers which prevent them from active labour force participation and can be difficult to surmount. As of December, there were 386,600 individuals who wanted to work but were unable, for various reasons (see Figure 15).

The participation rate is the percentage of the population over the age of 15 that is either employed or actively seeking work. The overall participation rate is lower than it was two years ago, but this is due to lower participation among those over 65. Among the 15 to 64 age group, participation is higher than it was two years ago (see Figure 14). This is a good thing as it means more of Canada’s population is working, or looking for work. There are always some people who are unable to actively participate in the labour market at some point because they are retired, ill, a student, or for other reasons. A higher participation rate is generally good for the economy, but the higher it climbs, the harder it is to draw more people into active participation in the labour force. For sectors that are still seeking to restaff, higher participation rates are a double-edged sword, especially when unemployment has fallen.

Figure 12 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0017-01 Labour force characteristics by sex and detailed age group, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality (x 1,000)

Figure 13 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0127-01 Reason for not looking for work, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality (x 1,000)

Figure 14 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0287-01  Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle, last 5 months

Figure 15 Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0127-01  Reason for not looking for work, monthly, unadjusted for seasonality (x 1,000)

A Tightening Labour Market

Even with a slight increase in tourism employment this December, the annual data clearly shows how far tourism employment has fallen from its pre-pandemic highs. On a monthly basis the number of workers in the sector fluctuates, but with annual data we can safely say that our industry needs approximately 400,000 workers to return to pre-COVID levels of employment. This has been driven by repeated rounds of businesses closures and limitations on business activity and travel that forced tourism workers out of their jobs. Many found jobs in other industries. The Canadian labour market returned to pre-pandemic status several months ago. Unemployment is low and people 15 to 64 are participating in the labour force more than before the pandemic. This leaves limited avenues for sectors of the economy such as tourism to find former workers.

And although the monthly data showed an increase in employment this December, we also know that later in the month many current tourism workers lost their jobs once more. Just how many will be answered when January data is released in early February. Hopefully, business closures and restrictions will not last as long as during other waves. Having come during the holiday season, however, is going to severely hurt hospitality businesses. Even as restrictions lift, some businesses will find it difficult to fully reopen at this time of year.

If businesses can reopen quickly, tourism workforce losses may be limited. The longer former tourism employees are out of work, the more likely they are to find jobs in other industries. The tourism industry has a major challenge in the coming months. Let’s say Omicron is the final major wave of the pandemic. If that is the case, there will be significant lifting of restrictions and a resurgence of travel this summer. We won’t get back to 2019 levels, but there will be a lot more demand for tourism than there has been for the past two years. Tourism businesses will need to find a lot of lost workers. We will have the usual summer increase of employment from students and other young people, but it is the long-term, year-round employees that were lost that must be replaced. Without them, the summer youth cohort is not enough to meet demand.

We also need to recognize that the workforce has given our industry a hard look these past two years. Sentiment towards the tourism sector as a place of work has taken a negative turn. The long-term workers that have been lost are not coming back—at least not in significant numbers. We need to figure out how to attract enough workers in the short, medium, and long term. The successful and sustainable recovery of our visitor economy depends on all of us collaborating to make ourselves a more attractive place to work, because we need to convert new hires into long-term tourism employees and future industry leaders.

View more employment charts and analysis on our Tourism Employment Tracker.

Tourism HR Canada invites employers, students, and educators to a virtual info session for its Propel Student Work Placement Program on Wednesday, January 19, at 1:00pm Eastern Time.

Propel offers tourism and hospitality employers access to up to $7,500 in wage subsidies when they hire a post-secondary student for work-integrated learning: an internship, a co-op placement, a work experience placement, and more.

The many benefits? Students gain paid hands-on learning and mentoring in their field of study. Employers acquire much-needed early talent to help with the recovery of the industry, as well as assistance with wages. Post-secondary institutions complement their programming by connecting students and the workplace.

Join this one-hour virtual session to learn:
• What work-integrated learning is, why it matters, and how it can benefit your business
• Who qualifies for the Propel program
• Where to post a job
• How to apply for a wage subsidy
• What information you’ll need
• When the subsidy is available
• How Tourism HR Canada can support you

A Q&A component will follow the presentation. Registrants can submit questions in advance via the registration form.

Join Tourism HR Canada on Wednesday, January 19, at 1:00pm Eastern for a full look at this newly available program to support the hard-hit tourism and hospitality sector.

Click here to register.

This program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program.

Graduates of the Destination Inclusion program, which offers free learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario, continue to share how the program has impacted them.

Participant Youssef Skalli recently explained how the program has played a key role in his lifelong learning journey:

Within my pro bono coaching activities, I engaged with a passionate group of young professional front desk agents in the tourism industry that needed support to structure their transferable skills. After 45 minutes of active listening, my intellectual curiosity about this job was climbing. I wanted to know more about what is behind those calm and smiling faces we meet every time we check in/out of a hotel.

Thanks to World Skills and Tourism HR Canada, I could enroll in the Destination Inclusion learning program.

The moment I started the first self-paced e-learning module related to the front desk agent role, my curiosity along with my respect to that crucial role for any hotel team didn’t stop growing.

I am so glad that I took this complete course; it is a great addition to my lifelong learning journey. Front desk agents are not only those (most of the time) friendly and professional individuals greeting us whenever we step into a hotel reception. The job requires a variety of leadership and communication skills which implies also strong resilience, accountability, teamwork, business acumen, health and safety awareness…

I believe we are all “front desk agents” at one moment or the other, whether in our personal or professional life. 

A great learning, thank you Destination Inclusion team!

Delivered in partnership with the World Skills Employment Centre and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), the Destination Inclusion program will continue to run through to the end of March 2022.

Registration is ongoing, and interested applicants are invited to find more information—including how to sign up for an upcoming virtual information session—at destinationinclusion.ca.

Employers wishing to connect with Destination Inclusion graduates and tourism professionals interested in mentoring participants are invited to email info@destinationinclusion.ca.


This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Please be advised that an error with the Government of Canada’s Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) calculation spreadsheet may have resulted in some applicants mistakenly receiving a message that they were not eligible for application period 22 (October 24 to November 20, 2021).

The following information is taken directly from the THRP website. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit the webpage for contact information.

Error in spreadsheet for wage and hiring support may have affected your eligibility

A previous version of the spreadsheet for wage and hiring may have shown you were not eligible for the THRP, when in fact you may be eligible.

Who this error may affect

You may have been affected if:

  • You were applying for period 22 (October 24 to November 20, 2021)
  • You used a version of the spreadsheet for wage and hiring (version 2021-1) that was available between Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 6:00 am ET and Friday, December 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm ET
  • You indicated you are a qualifying tourism or hospitality entity and had both a current-month revenue drop and 12-month average revenue drop over 40%
  • Step 5 in the spreadsheet showed a zero dollar amount and gave the message that you were not eligible for the THRP

This error was only present in the calculation spreadsheet for wage and hiring support.

What to do if you think you have been affected by this error

If you did not apply for period 22:

If you already applied for the HHBRP – Wage or CRHP for period 22:

  • Contact the Business Enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525 to make your THRP – Wage application