Hotel room shortage creates problem for Vancouver tourism

Published on : Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Last week the news that said Canadian citizens who are fully vaccinated will not be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test when returning from cross-border trips of 72 hours or less is more than welcome news for tourism. This news was major step in making lives returning to normalcy after the challenges of the pandemic.

By now, for leisure trips, fully vaccinated Canadians have entered the United States by land since early November. As far as US is concerned, free drive-thru PCR testing – available at Washington State pharmacies means relatively free-flowing cross-border traffic can now provide major benefit to the BC and Washington State tourism industries.

However, a danger still hover around over the full recovery of Vancouver’s local tourism as the world emerges from the strains of the pandemic in a slow fashion. A shortage of hotel rooms intimidates the industry’s continued vitality.

The number of hotel rooms in Vancouver has experienced a plunge for the last 15 years due to factors like close down of hotels and conversions to residential uses, the land economics that make building new standalone hotel properties financially unviable, along with limited zoning restrictions for hotel uses, geographically. The recent trend of governments purchasing hotels for use as social housing and homeless shelters through programs like the Federal Rapid Housing Initiative has just added to the woes.

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