QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Last updated: September 25, 2020
TOURISM SASKATCHEWAN - GENERAL
How can I receive updates from Tourism Saskatchewan?
The Industry Update newsletters and the industry website are the best way to receive the most current information during the COVID-19 situation. Visit industry.tourismsaskatchewan.com/coronavirus-information.
How do I contact Tourism Saskatchewan?
Contact information for specific people and departments is available on the industry website.
Email your COVID-19 related questions, concerns and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I update the status of the event or attraction I have listed on the Tourism Saskatchewan website?
Tourism Saskatchewan understands that event organizers across the province are in a difficult position. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the postponement, rescheduling or cancellation of many events. Alternately, some operators, businesses and communities are offering virtual tours and online events. It is important to ensure that accurate information is listed on TourismSaskatchewan.com. Email updates about your event to email@example.com. Include the event name and indicate if it is cancelled or postponed in 2020. If postponed, include the anticipated date.
We welcome the addition of virtual tours, online shopping links and online programming links to your web listing’s description. Email the url link(s) and a short phrase to add to your current web listing. Ensure that you include your business name in the subject line of your email.
Now is an important time to add messaging to your own website or social media page. Let your potential customers know about visiting you virtually or, if you’re an event organizer, post a status update to assist potential customers with their future travel plans.
How can I find out about webinars and events for the tourism industry?
Many tourism-related organizations are offering online resources and webinars to keep stakeholders, businesses and workers informed on issues and developments relating to COVID-19. Tourism Saskatchewan provides links to relevant webinars, online training and learning events in the Webinars section on Industry.TourismSaskatchewan.com/coronavirus-information.
Does Tourism Saskatchewan offer any funding programs to assist the industry during this time of closures and low visitor traffic?
Tourism Saskatchewan does not currently have financing programs to assist small business owners affected by the COVID-19 situation. Visit the COVID-19 page for information about provincial and federal funding programs, business operations and small business supports that are available.
Will the DMO/CMO workshops, HOST Saskatchewan Conference and the Saskatchewan Tourism Awards of Excellence Gala be rescheduled?
These programs and events are postponed indefinitely.
What is the Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program?
The Government of Saskatchewan announced its $35 million investment in the Saskatchewan Tourism Sector Support Program (STSSP). The program offers relief to tourism businesses that suffered severe losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of the investment is targeted for marketing support to reignite interest in and demand for Saskatchewan travel experiences.
The STSSP offers a one-time, non-repayable emergency payment to eligible tourism operators in the hospitality and event/attraction industries. For the accommodation sector and large event facilities, payments will range from $10,000-$50,000, depending on sales revenue. For attraction, tour or event operators with ongoing fixed costs, the payment range is $7,500-$15,000.
The STSSP application period is August 24-October 1, 2020.
Of the $35 million, $5 million will be issued to Tourism Saskatchewan to support marketing the province as a destination. The funding will help industry operators and businesses generate short- and medium-term revenue. More details about this portion of the STSSP are forthcoming.
Tourism Saskatchewan welcomes questions or inquiries from industry. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund?
The $1 billion Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will assist the tourism sector and season businesses ineligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Business Account.
Through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), $304 million is available to businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $208.5 million will go directly to small and medium-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Another $95.7 million is available to businesses in small towns and rural areas through the Community Futures Pan West Network. Eligible businesses, such as retailers and restaurants, can access loans up to $40,000.
Can I still apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account?
The Government of Canada announced a two-month extension to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). The support is now available until October 31.
The CEBA provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. The loans help to cover operating costs while revenues are down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses can apply for CEBA support through their financial institutions.
An extension to the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) was also announced. In place until June 2021, the BCAP enables businesses to access additional credit to maintain operations and keep employees on the payroll. Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada will continue to work with lenders to ensure that Canadian businesses have access to capital.
What is the latest status of the federal wage subsidy for businesses?
The federal government is extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program to December of this year. The program covers 75 per cent of wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847, for workers at eligible companies and non-profits affected by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resources can be found on CRA’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy web page, including the Frequently asked questions - Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application guide. The CRA also encourages employers who haven’t already done so to sign up for My Business Account or Represent a Client, as well as for Direct deposit.
How will Tourism Saskatchewan adapt its marketing plans to help the tourism industry struggling from the sudden and uncertain impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tourism Saskatchewan is working quickly to reassess planned marketing activities and investments in the 2020-21 fiscal year. Over the last couple of years, Tourism Saskatchewan has invested more resources to build capacity and generate business from long-haul export markets.
The COVID-19 situation will have a significant impact on the Saskatchewan tourism industry. Moving forward, we will refine our strategy and messaging. We recognize that driving shorter-term business, from shorter-haul markets within the province, will best support tourism operators. This will be especially important once restrictions are lifted and people feel comfortable travelling again.
Will Tourism Saskatchewan continue to advertise?
Tourism Saskatchewan ceased advertising spends in the United States and in Canada outside of the province. Messaging across Tourism Saskatchewan’s channels is assessed to ensure that content and tone is sensitive to the current situation. As we work on developing recovery plans for the short and longer-term, we will continue to consult current research and government guidelines for re-opening to make evidence-based decisions on advertising and marketing tactics.
Tourism Saskatchewan is working with our federal partner, Destination Canada, to pause international co-operative marketing activities in Germany and the U.K. We will also shift resources towards domestic advertising campaigns, as a collective Team Canada approach, at the appropriate time.
EDUCATION PROGRAMS (STEC)
Can I still take the Serve It Right Saskatchewan (SIRS) course and access my online certificate?
Yes, you can purchase and complete the online course. Go to sirs.ca and login or create an account. Technical support is available Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 306-933-5900.
MARKETING AND EVENT PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
The Marketing and Event Partnership Program and Event Hosting Program is now open. Applications will be accepted until November 15 at 5 p.m.
For more information, please click on the link below to access the PDF document for program guidelines:
The Marketing and Event Partnership Program provides Saskatchewan-based, tourism-focused businesses and organizations with opportunities to partner with Tourism Saskatchewan.
The program supports the promotion of tourism products, services, attractions and events to audiences within and outside of the province, and the creation of quality content marketing assets. Strategies include digital and traditional marketing tactics that target key visitor markets identified by Tourism Saskatchewan.
Support is available to create or update digital assets, such as websites, e-commerce portals, and expand social media marketing. Support is also available for market research, through approved sources. Research Projects require consultation with Tourism Saskatchewan prior to submission.
The program merges previous programs offered by Tourism Saskatchewan, listed as follows: Co-operative Advertising Program (CAP), Content Development Program, Marketplace Fund, and Community and Marquee Annual Tourism Event Programs.
Visit the Marketing and Event Partnership Program page for information, program contacts for questions, and access to the online application form.
INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT FUNDING PROGRAMS
Will someone from Tourism Saskatchewan still be able to make a site visit during this time of uncertainty?
It depends. In person visitation will be examined on a case-by-case basis. Factors we will consider are travel distance, availability of the appropriate Tourism Saskatchewan staff to address the needs of the operator and the current government recommendations that are in place at the time of request.
When is the next Tourism Product Diversification and New Market Development Program and the Destination Experience Development Program intakes?
The programs encourage industry investment in quality, diverse tourism experiences, and align with recommendations in the ten-year Destination Development Strategy for Saskatchewan.
For additional information about the programs, visit industry.tourismsaskatchewan.com/apply-for-funding. If you have questions, email Denise Stroeder at email@example.com.
If I apply and receive funding from one of the programs, will I still have to complete the entire project within a defined timeframe?
Yes, projects that receive fall 2020 intake funding will be required to complete the project within 24 months after the contract is signed.
Our community/region has been working on a Community Tourism Plan. With the social distancing restrictions and self-isolation recommendations in place, how should we proceed with our project?
The Community Tourism Planning Guide is full of step-by-step recommendations. The activities and worksheets can be completed by committee members in isolation, before sharing with the group, to keep the momentum moving forward.
When will Saskatchewan Provincial Parks and campgrounds be open to the public?
Provincial Park campgrounds are open for overnight camping effective June 1, 2020. Priority bookings are given to Saskatchewan residents. Bookings are now accepted from out-of-province visitors.
SaskParks urges people to follow social distancing practices and take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
I am interested in a seasonal campsite. Will I still have to pay the full amount?
Seasonal camping fees will be pro-rated to June 1, 2020.
If there is a delay in opening, will the camping season be extended this year?
Camping will be offered in all Saskatchewan Provincial Parks until September 30, 2020 with most services available. Provincial parks are open year round for those who wish to camp in the spring, fall and some parks even offer winter camping. When the online reservation system opens it will provide a list of which campgrounds within each park will offer camping until the end of September.
How can I contact Saskatchewan Provincial Parks?
For the most up-to-date information on 2020 reservations and camping season, please click here.
Is Prince Albert National Park and Grasslands National Park open?
Canadian residents will be able to camp in a number of national parks, beginning June 29. Grasslands National Park and Prince Albert National Park are included in the parks that are opening campgrounds for the summer season.