2021 was another difficult year for the tourism and hospitality industry in Alberta. We are grateful that our members trust us to be the voice for our industry and provide valuable programs and resources see hotels through these challenging times.

Advocating for Hotels to Government

The AHLA worked on behalf of members to advocate for policies and supports that would help hotels survive until the industry begins its recovery. In 2021, we helped our members:

  • Secure important liquidity measures and government support, like the abatement of the tourism levy and extensions to temporary layoffs.
  • Keep amenities open by lobbying government to lift COVID restrictions on VLTs, swimming pools, and meeting rooms.
  • Stay informed on government programs, legislation, and policies like provincial public health restrictions, employment standards, and occupational health & safety legislation.
  • Leverage their collective purchasing power through members-only electrical energy, natural gas, insurance, and benefits programs.
  • Gain clarity around COVID-19 restrictions through useful resources and hundreds of one-on-one inquiries.
  • Onboard new employees and skill up current staff with free access to hotel operations and management training videos.

In 2022, we will support industry recovery by working to relieve the critical labour shortages affecting hotels, find ways to bring down the cost of property & liability insurance, and lobby for 100% of the Tourism Levy to be dedicated to Travel Alberta to grow Alberta’s visitor economy.

Exploring Insurance Alternatives

We continue to hear from members that rising insurance costs is one of their biggest concerns. In 2021, with the support of Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), the AHLA was able to conduct an analysis on a variety of insurance models that might better serve our members. As a top priority in 2022, we will be considering all the options available and closely monitoring the progress of Bill 76: the Captive Insurance Companies Act.

New Member Programs & Events

Recognizing that the needs of hotels have shifted during the pandemic, we responded by listening to our members and delivering events and programs that would bring them the most value.

  • We were blown away by the response to our new AHLA Safe Accommodation Promise (ASAP) designation. Over 200 hotels made this commitment to prioritize the health and safety of staff and guests in 2021. Apply for the 2022 designation today!
  • After the success of our members-only Quarterly Innsight webinars in 2020, we continued to provide this valuable resource in 2021. AHLA President & CEO Dave Kaiser shares updates on the state of the industry, government advocacy priorities, and how we are addressing critical challenges like the labour shortage and rising costs of insurance and utilities. Register now for the next Quarterly Innsight on March 2 at 1–2 p.m.
  • We were finally able to host our first in-person Ascend event in 2021. We gathered with dozens of hotel industry leaders from across the province to build connections and learn from inspiring industry experts. Find out more in our recap blog post and stay tuned for details on Ascend 2022!

As 2021 comes to a close, we are still navigating through our ever-changing industry and will continue to do so in 2022. We will also continue to advocate for our members and create programs that will assist our members not only today but into the future as well.

Chris Barr
AHLA Board Chair

The challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic lingered longer than many expected through 2021. Our strong industry voice was critical to ensure the much needed support required by our members to sustain their operations and position our industry for recovery in the years ahead.

Dave Kaiser
AHLA President & CEO