The Heat is On for B.C.’s Hotel Industry

The 2023 wildfire season in British Columbia has left a significant mark on the hotel industry

The 2023 wildfire season in British Columbia has left a significant mark on the hotel industry, particularly for establishments like Prestige Hotels & Resorts. Tanya Stroinig, COO of Prestige, recalls how the McDougall Creek fire drastically reduced occupancy rates and led to a 30-percent revenue drop across their 15 hotels. The widespread perception that "B.C. is burning" caused cancellations even in unaffected areas, exacerbating the financial strain post-COVID-19.

Hotels globally are grappling with climate change's effects, from wildfires to heat waves and floods. Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO of the British Columbia Hotel Association, emphasizes the industry's dependency on peak summer seasons, which are increasingly disrupted by extreme weather events. Efforts are being made to attract more business during shoulder seasons and reduce the industry's carbon footprint. Destination BC's Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative aims to help businesses adopt sustainable practices and adapt to climate challenges.

Looking ahead, Prestige is focusing on expanding its shoulder season offerings and drawing back international travelers. Despite the challenges, Stroinig remains optimistic, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of the industry.

Discover more about the impact of climate change on B.C.’s hotel industry here.

You Should Know

You should know: The trickle-down effect of wildfires on British Columbia's economy extends far beyond the immediate costs of fighting the fires. Events like minor baseball tournaments, which bring hundreds of visitors to towns, are often canceled due to fire-related concerns. This results in a significant economic impact that can be felt for years, affecting local businesses, hotels, and the broader community.

Beyond the direct loss of tourism revenue, the disruption caused by wildfires impacts local employment and service industries. Restaurants, retail stores, and other local businesses rely heavily on the influx of visitors during peak seasons. When events are canceled and tourists stay away, these businesses suffer losses that can lead to layoffs and, in some cases, permanent closures. The economic ripple effect touches every corner of the community, highlighting the far-reaching consequences of wildfires.

Moreover, the long-term perception of safety and desirability of a destination can be tarnished by frequent wildfire occurrences. Potential visitors may choose alternative destinations perceived as safer, leading to a prolonged downturn in tourist numbers. This decline can hamper community recovery efforts, making it harder for affected areas to bounce back economically. Thus, addressing the root causes of climate change and investing in resilience measures is critical for the sustainability of the tourism and hospitality industry in wildfire-prone regions.

yt:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tco9BYHFcxI

The 2023 wildfire season in British Columbia has left a significant mark on the hotel industry, particularly for establishments like Prestige Hotels & Resorts. Tanya Stroinig, COO of Prestige, recalls how the McDougall Creek fire drastically reduced occupancy rates and led to a 30-percent revenue drop across their 15 hotels. The widespread perception that "B.C. is burning" caused cancellations even in unaffected areas, exacerbating the financial strain post-COVID-19.

Hotels globally are grappling with climate change's effects, from wildfires to heat waves and floods. Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO of the British Columbia Hotel Association, emphasizes the industry's dependency on peak summer seasons, which are increasingly disrupted by extreme weather events. Efforts are being made to attract more business during shoulder seasons and reduce the industry's carbon footprint. Destination BC's Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative aims to help businesses adopt sustainable practices and adapt to climate challenges.

Looking ahead, Prestige is focusing on expanding its shoulder season offerings and drawing back international travelers. Despite the challenges, Stroinig remains optimistic, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of the industry.

Discover more about the impact of climate change on B.C.’s hotel industry here.

You Should Know

You should know: The trickle-down effect of wildfires on British Columbia's economy extends far beyond the immediate costs of fighting the fires. Events like minor baseball tournaments, which bring hundreds of visitors to towns, are often canceled due to fire-related concerns. This results in a significant economic impact that can be felt for years, affecting local businesses, hotels, and the broader community.

Beyond the direct loss of tourism revenue, the disruption caused by wildfires impacts local employment and service industries. Restaurants, retail stores, and other local businesses rely heavily on the influx of visitors during peak seasons. When events are canceled and tourists stay away, these businesses suffer losses that can lead to layoffs and, in some cases, permanent closures. The economic ripple effect touches every corner of the community, highlighting the far-reaching consequences of wildfires.

Moreover, the long-term perception of safety and desirability of a destination can be tarnished by frequent wildfire occurrences. Potential visitors may choose alternative destinations perceived as safer, leading to a prolonged downturn in tourist numbers. This decline can hamper community recovery efforts, making it harder for affected areas to bounce back economically. Thus, addressing the root causes of climate change and investing in resilience measures is critical for the sustainability of the tourism and hospitality industry in wildfire-prone regions.

yt:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tco9BYHFcxI