B.C. hotel industry struggling with labour shortages, increased costs

Prince George’s role as service hub helped maintain demand for hotel rooms during pandemic

Nearly three years after the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a gut-punch to B.C.’s hotel industry, workforce shortages that prevent hotels from operating at capacity still hamper the path to recovery.

The province now has as many as 50,000 job vacancies in tourism and hospitality and federally there’s a shortage of 300,000 workers.

The federal government has adjusted its Temporary Foreign Workers policies to allow the hospitality industry to bring in up to 30 per cent of its workforce from other countries. The program allows them to work while they wait for approval as landed immigrants and that’s helped increase employment numbers, but it’s not enough to fill the thousands of jobs currently available in B.C. hotels.

“Many of the hotels are operating at 70 to 80 per cent capacity because they don’t have people to clean the rooms,” said Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO of the B.C. Hotel Association. “This is the tightest labour market that we’ve seen and it’s not just our industry, it’s construction, manufacturing, many industries because the baby boomers are retiring and the tech sector is growing.”

Fuelled by megaprojects like the LNG Canada gas terminal, BC Hydro’s Site C dam, Trans Mountain Pipeline and Coastal GasLink pipeline, hotels in the Prince George-Prince Rupert-Fort St. John corridor avoided the precipitous drop in business during the pandemic felt more profoundly in Victoria, Vancouver and the Okanagan, whose economies are more dependent on tourism.

Prince George has significantly increased its hotel room inventory over the past five years to meet the demand for rooms, largely driven by the city’s role as northern B.C. hub for goods and services, health care, and the prevalence of large-scale natural resource projects in the region. 

The new hotels –

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Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: Wetin to do in case of an earthquake


Wia dis foto come from, Getty Images

Natural disasters fit be di last tin for your mind before you travel for holiday or migrate.

But to know some few simple tins fit make di difference between life and death in case of emergency.

Afta di tragic earthquakes wey happun for Turkey and Syria, on 6, February 2023 and kill thousands of pipo, we don put togeda a guide on wetin to know wen you dey travel go earthquake-prone locations.

Before you leave: Always register wit your kontri embassy for di destination wey you dey travel go.

To register you go either call di embassy directly or some kontries go allow you to input your travel plans online.

Wen you arrive: Carry local emergency and embassy phone numbers for your wallet, or save dia number for your phone.

Wen you check into your hotel room, identify safe places to hide in case earthquake happun – under a heavy desk or table; against an inside wall; stay away from windows, mirrors or heavy furniture wey fit fall over – avoid location near di stairwells.

Just a note say contrary to popular belief, doorways no generally dey stronger dan any oda part of a building and no suppose be your go-to place for shelter in di event say earthquake happun.

During earthquake: If you dey your hotel room, go immediately to one of your identified safe places, lie down and hold on.

For rooms without strong furniture, stay for one corner of di building and cover your face and head wit your hands.

If di earthquake happun while you dey for bed and di room no get overhead light fixtures, stay for bed and protect your head wit pillow.

If you dey outdoors,

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Travellers more confident with booking hotels: SiteMinder

SiteMinder reveals global traveller confidence is reaching new heights post-lockdown in its new analysis of more than 100 million reservations – booking behaviour trends from 2022 showed decreasing cancellation rates and increasing booking lead times, even with rising hotel room prices across key travel destinations.

SiteMinder’s new Hotel Booking Trends report has revealed travellers booked their trips on average eight days earlier, and cancelled their bookings 17% less year-on-year in 2022, despite a 24% increase in the average daily hotel room rate.

Travellers are booking hotels earlier and cancelling less

Including the most popular channels travellers used to book hotels in 2022, SiteMinder’s report also reveals the performance of OTAs, wholesalers, global distribution systems, tour operators, destination management companies and hotel-owned websites (direct booking engines) as revenue-driving channels for hoteliers across the world, with 11 new additions joining SiteMinder’s Top 12 lists for the first time.

In 2022, analysis from SiteMinder’s Hotel Booking Trends showed:

  • Travellers globally booked hotel stays considerably further in advance than in 2021, with hotels seeing a 38% increase in average booking lead time, year-on-year. The global average booking lead time was around 30 days in 2022, just six days shorter than the average booking lead time in 2019.
  • Travellers globally cancelled their hotel bookings 17% less year-on-year. The average hotel booking cancellation rate dropped to about 20% compared to 25% in 2021, with hotels in Ireland experiencing the highest rate (26%) and Indonesia the lowest (10%).
  • Domestic booking channels captured a lower proportion of bookings overall, however there was a clear balance between traditional and niche booking channels across markets. OTAs, wholesalers and destination management companies reasserted their dominance across SiteMinder’s Top 12 booking channel lists in most markets as international travel returned, with remaining the most popular. Despite this, regional hotel booking
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The Best Time to Book a Hotel to Save Money

The early bird doesn’t always get the worm.

<p>Flashpop/Getty Images</p>

Accommodations are one of the biggest travel expenses out there, sometimes ending up even more costly than transportation. So it’s never a bad idea to maximize your savings when booking a hotel. One way to do that is to book at the right moment. Hotel prices are dynamic, fluctuating based on supply and demand — that means the price you see when you’re searching for hotels one day might change the very next, even if the dates of your stay remain the same. So, when is the best time to book a hotel? Read on to find out.

Related: The Best Time to Book a Flight for Domestic, International, and Summer Travel

<p>Frank Rothe/Getty Images</p>

When to Book a Hotel to Save Money

Figuring out the best time to book a hotel isn’t an exact science — there’s plenty of variation throughout the industry. But if we’re looking at statistics, the lowest prices for hotel rooms are typically found just 15 days before your stay. Yes, last-minute bookings are (usually) better. A 2022 NerdWallet study analyzed more than 2,500 hotel room rates from 2019 through the first half of 2021 and found an average of 13 percent savings for those who booked 15 days in advance as compared to those who booked four months in advance.

Keep in mind this is just an average and doesn’t take into account busy travel periods, such as the holidays, when you should definitely book in advance. And according to data from the travel app Hopper, the 15-day benchmark is a good one for big business cities, such as New York and Chicago, but it’s not as accurate for vacation destinations like the Caribbean or Hawaii. In those destinations, Hopper notes that hotel rates are usually lowest about

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Las Vegas Strip hotels conspired to raise prices, lawsuit says

Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip used a “revenue management platform” to set illegally high room rates and undercut competition, a <a href=class action lawsuit says.” title=”Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip used a “revenue management platform” to set illegally high room rates and undercut competition, a class action lawsuit says.” loading=”lazy”/

Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip used a “revenue management platform” to set illegally high room rates and undercut competition, a class action lawsuit says.

Visitors who’ve rented rooms on the Las Vegas Strip within the last four years have filed a class action lawsuit against four of the largest gaming and hospitality companies in the city, saying that the hotels engaged in a price-fixing scheme to inflate room rates, according to lawyers.

The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 25, says that 90% of hotels on the strip use a revenue management platform called Rainmaker, which has an algorithm that recommends future, room-specific prices to hotels.

Rather than encouraging hotels to fill all of their rooms, Rainmaker focuses on helping hotels maximize their profits at the expense of consumers, the lawsuit says.

“In a competitive market, any empty hotel room is lost revenue, so a hotel operator would try to fill each hotel room by granting concessions or lowering prices,” the lawsuit says. “By contrast, on Rainmaker Group’s recommendations and as an integral part of the conspiracy, Hotel Operators kept prices high and some rooms empty, knowing their co-conspirators would not undercut these supracompetitive prices.”

A spokesperson for Cendyn Group, Rainmaker’s parent company, declined to comment.

Unlike sites such as Expedia and TripAdvisor, which display current pricing and allow consumers to compare rates but don’t influence how hotels set their prices, Rainmaker uses its own algorithms to recommend future prices to hotels, and all the hotels that use it adopt the “same future pricing strategy,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm seeking to represent consumers

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Here’s how to relax on vacation by doing nothing (for at least a day)

Samantha Hamilton was more than ready for her two-week solo trip to Thailand. She purposely packed her schedule to the brim to fit in everything she wanted to do: have an ethical elephant encounter, visit a Buddhist temple and snorkel its clear turquoise waters.

Partway into her trip, she realized she wasn’t enjoying her itinerary and was operating on autopilot. She felt “completely drained, mentally and physically.” That day, she had plans to go on a hike and snorkel, but felt like she wouldn’t even enjoy those activities because of how tired she was.

So she took the day off and did absolutely nothing except catch up on sleep in her hotel room.

Looking back on her trip, she said that day off “saved” her trip. “I know it sounds silly, but that one day of rest completely recharged my batteries,” she said. The next day, she woke up feeling recharged and ready to engage with her trip.

It can feel strange to take a vacation from your vacation like this, and Hamilton admitted she sometimes feels “a pang of guilt” when she does spend a day not leaving her hotel. “I think there’s so much pressure to see and do everything while traveling that it’s lost on a lot of people that we also need time to rest. That’s what a vacation is for, right?”

Samantha Hamilton saw the Wat Chedi Luang Temple in Chiang Mai while on a solo trip to Thailand, which was also the first time she took a <a href=rest day on vacation.” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTcwOQ–/″/

Samantha Hamilton saw the Wat Chedi Luang Temple in Chiang Mai while on a solo trip to Thailand, which was also the first time she took a rest day on vacation.

The case for taking a rest day during your vacation can seem counterintuitive, but it may actually help your vacation – and mental health – in the long run, according to Ellie Borden, a psychotherapist in

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My single sister demands we pay part of her vacation bill

Pay Dirt is Slate’s money advice column. Have a question? Send it to Lillian, Athena, and Elizabeth here(It’s anonymous!)

Dear Pay Dirt,

My sister is (unhappily) single and child-free with a well-paying job. I only bring this up because I am not sure if it contributes to her views on this issue. She was engaged 10 years ago but they broke up and she hasn’t had a long-term relationship since, much to her dismay. She sometimes speaks negatively about her friends who have gotten married or been in long-term relationships.

When my sister travels with our family or with friends she insists on splitting the cost of accommodations by the number of people, so if she gets a hotel room with a married couple she wants to split it three ways. Our family (my wife and I, both women; my widowed brother and his young son, our parents, and my sister) take at least two vacations together a year: a ski trip in the winter and a beach trip in the summer. We usually rent a condo for the ski and beach trips with enough rooms for each person/unit. My sister insists that we split the cost six ways for each adult. I think we should split it four ways because doing it her way means she pays half as much as the couples do. For a $3,000 condo split her way our parents and my wife and I will be spending $1,000 while she and my brother spend $500. If we split it four ways, then my parents, wife, and I will be spending $250 less and she’d be paying $250 more, which seems reasonable since we are all getting the same amount of space.

I could see her point more if she had to sleep on

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Airbnb not guaranteed to offer better deals than hotels

Airbnb guests Camille Smithwick and James Green from Manchester, England, pose for photos at an Airbnb property owned by ceramist Jonathan Entler in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles in 2014. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Remember the days when one of the best money-saving travel tips was booking an Airbnb versus a hotel? Not only were nightly rates almost always far cheaper, but the Airbnbs and hosts themselves often shaped up to be the most memorable aspects of a trip.

These days, staying at an Airbnb rarely involves big savings or friendships with the hosts.

For better or for worse, features like self-check-in make it so hosts and guests never even meet.

Meanwhile, many listings are not managed by owners, but by corporate property management behemoths – without the convenience of on-site, full-time staff.

And the cost? A June 2022 NerdWallet analysis looked at 1,000 U.S. Airbnb reservations for 2022 or 2023. Although there’s no way to compare the costs directly since every Airbnb is different, some key indicators provide clues as to when Airbnbs are better or worse than a hotel.

In some cases, Airbnb rentals are still a good deal compared to hotels. Other times, they’re far from it.


For short stays, Airbnbs are rarely a good deal for two reasons: discounts and cleaning fees.

Savings get bigger with trip length: The nightly rate for the average seven-night Airbnb stay was 32% cheaper than a one-night stay, according to NerdWallet’s analysis.

Why are longer stays cheaper?

One reason is multiday discounts. Hosts offer these incentives because they’d prefer having fewer bookings to manage and ensure occupancy.

Another reason is cleaning fees.

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California sees big jump in hotel room rates

Golden Gate Bridge
No. 1 California city of hotel price hikes is San Francisco, with a 65% jump to $269 (No. 7 most expensive among 19 markets). Occupancy? 75%, up 31 percentage points. 

”Survey says” looks at various rankings and scorecards judging geographic locations while noting these grades are best seen as a mix of artful interpretation and data.

Buzz: Hotel room rates are heating up this summer in many places across California.

Source: My trusty spreadsheet reviewed one-year changes in hotel room rates and occupancy levels for 2022’s first half in 19 markets, compiled by Visit California.


The urge to get out of the house helped push California’s average hotel room rate up 25% to $200 a night in 2022’s first six months. Travelers didn’t seem to mind, with occupancy at 75%, up 6 percentage points over 12 months.

That’s a slightly bigger bump than what hotels nationwide saw — a 19% jump in rates to $155 as occupancy ran 70%, up 4 points.


So where did visitors see the biggest rate jumps within California? Mostly in markets on a pandemic rebound.

Largely, that meant coastal and urban sites once shunned in the height of 2021’s pandemic business limitations. Or it was in places where local attractions had limited operations last year. Think Disneyland.

And don’t forget a modest return to business travel this year.

No. 1 San Francisco: 65% jump to $269 (7th most expensive). Occupancy was 75%, up 31 percentage points.

No. 2 Anaheim: 32% jump to $235 (No. 8). Occupancy was 83%, up 28 points.

No. 3 West Hollywood: 31% jump to $396 (No. 3). Occupancy was 70%, up 10 points.

No. 4 Los Angeles: 30% jump to $218 (No. 10). Occupancy was 77%, up 10 points.

No. 5 Napa Valley: 22% jump to $501 (No.

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How to get a hotel room cheaper than the best price online

Here’s my spending philosophy: If you can get something a bit cheaper, it’s worth a little effort.

Of course, I like tools that do the hard work for me, too. Tap or click for an online shopping helper to find discounts that work.

There are digital tricks that can make travel easier, safer and more affordable, too. Tap or click for five smart tech tips you should read before you hit the road this summer.

When saving on hotel rooms, the sites that claim to have the best possible deal aren’t always the way to go. Sometimes, you can do better on your own. My son just used the tips below to get a hotel room for $80 cheaper than the lowest price online.

Don’t book through a travel site

When you’re looking for a hotel, travel discount sites like Kayak, Expedia or are good places to start — but don’t book there. Once you find the lowest available price at the hotel you want to visit, call the hotel’s reservation desk.

Many hotels will meet or beat the best internet rate when you book with them. They’d much rather skip the commission to the travel site and book your stay directly. The hotel might even throw in a free upgrade like a nicer room or complimentary breakfast.

If you’re not having any luck with the first person who answers, respectfully ask to speak to the sales manager.

This is the best time to book a hotel room

If it’s feasible, wait until the day you need the hotel room to book it. The later in the day, the better. After 4 p.m., hotels know the odds of selling a room are pretty slim, so you’re more likely to get an even lower rate. On average, the same-day rate

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