(Regina) Amid ongoing pandemic conditions, the loss of events, conventions and tradeshows (ECT) is having a widespread effect on people and businesses across the Greater Regina Area. While things are quiet right now, the sector remains a key component of the region’s economic recovery strategy moving forward.
“Event, Convention and Tradeshow activities benefit real people, creating opportunities for hundreds of Regina businesses and employing thousands of people, many of whom are new to the labour force,” Economic Development Regina CEO John Lee said. “Despite the pandemic, Regina has a positive story to tell when it comes to ECT and we’ll continue to share it long after COVID-19 is in the rear-view mirror.”
When a sector this important comes to a stop, the impacts are profound. Those impacts include:
- A loss of $395.3 million in economic impact to date – that includes 298 events, conventions or tradeshows and $41 million in lost revenues to hotels
- April unemployment rate: 8.6% (7.2% in March)
- In April, Retail, restaurants, hotels, attractions, culture are hit the hardest and make up most of the employment lost an additional 5,600 jobs, that is 186 jobs a day.
- A 33% to 58% decrease in consumer spending – significantly affecting hotels, restaurants, retail and other businesses
- An immeasurable loss in the sense of community pride and belonging that is created by Regina’s events and festivals – especially this time of year
“As I’ve said before, we are in the business of creating memories through the events we host,” said Tim Reid, President and CEO of Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL). “As a result of COVID-19 we effectively saw our industry turn off overnight. When we are given the go ahead, we’ll be ready to welcome back all of our friends who have been patiently waiting to take in the magic of the events that come through our beautiful city. The impacts are not simply the loss of the Grey Cup or other major events but rather the loss of all events, large and small and the lasting memories that would have been made, from the staff that work the events, to the guests that come through to take it all in.”
“Hotels were hit hard when the visitor and event economy came to an immediate halt in mid-March,” Regina Hotel Association CEO Tracy Fahlman said. “When the time is right, we’ll be ready to welcome back visitors. Our industry has worked hard to enhance cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet health and safety expectations.”
Over the coming weeks, the Alliance will engage on social media and in other ways to highlight the importance of the sector. It will also continue to look for ways to come together and celebrate our community.
About the ECT Alliance
Regina’s Event, Tradeshow and Convention Alliance is a consortium of local organizations committed to advancing Regina as a destination of choice for events. The Alliance is comprised of The City of Regina, Economic Development Regina, Tourism Saskatchewan, Regina Hotel Association and Regina Exhibition Association Ltd. Not only has the Alliance contributed to Regina’s strong reputation as a destination across Canada, it has helped to create a sector that contributes $300 million to our local economy every year, employs more than 8,000 people and makes Regina a better place to live for its citizens.