Phase 3 of the Restart BC Plan is good news for the hospitality industry, but it doesn’t mean a full recovery.

This, according to Ingrid Jarrett, President and CEO of the BC Hotel Association

“We’re looking at some travel beginning around the province,” she said

59,000 people in the industry were unemployed or laid off prior to BC’s third phase, a number that has now been reduced to 42,000 out-of-work employees.

However, Jarrett said hotels are still experiencing very low occupancy numbers throughout the province.

“Making sure there’s an understanding about health and safety is critical,” she explained, adding many parts of the hotel industry are exceeding the recommendations set by WorkSafeBC.

“People can travel mid-week, not just weekends,” Jarrett added, explaining many destinations are seeing improved numbers over weekends while still struggling during mid-week periods.

She said it could take between 5 to 8 years for the industry to fully recover, but admitted the number was speculative and could change based on many different factors including public and governmental support.

Ingrid concluded by encouraging the public to support small businesses, explaining independent hotels make up 80% of the industry.