February'21 Message from the President
President, Skål International
Coronavirus challenges continue, and Tourism needs our support.
I find it so frustrating to read and hear the news surrounding the Coronavirus and now the new terminology, 'Variants'.
Restrictions come and go as the number of cases is reported. While I respect the difficulty around keeping the virus at bay, the inconsistencies as to how the restrictions are applied is a huge frustration, expressed across the tourism industry’s hospitality and airline sectors.
In Canada, our government recently amended the restrictions for travelers coming into the country, requiring them to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for at least three days while waiting for test results. The cost for testing, monitoring, and quarantine for those three days, expected to be $2,000 (Hotel rate not included), is the traveler’s responsibility. These new measures are supposed to prevent the variants from entering the country...?
According to news reports, statistics demonstrate that only a fraction of cases results from overseas trips. If only our government leaders had spent as much time and effort on securing vaccines, facilitating testing, effective tracing as well as identifying the high-spread situations and focusing on those already infected rather than isolating the healthy; our tourism industry might not have been so devastated.
Targeting dine-in restaurants, hotels, hair salons, and other small businesses while permitting Big Box retail, fast food restaurants, shopping malls, and professional sports teams to be exempt from lock-down, under the premise of essential services, does not make sense and is not equitable.
We need our government leaders to work with the tourism industry leaders in applying common sense and consistency in the fight against COVID-19 while keeping the economy front and center.