Tourism HR Canada Announces Leadership Award Winner: Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association

Tourism HR Canada is pleased to announce the Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association (BLLHA) as this year’s recipient of its annual Leadership Award, recognizing its contribution to advancing progressive HR practices in Canada’s tourism sector.

The BLLHA serves as a strong advocate for the accommodation, food and beverage, and tourism sector in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. In its role as an industry advocate, the association works with local industry on common political and economic interests that benefit everyone in the region.

Tourism HR Canada first took note of BLLHA’s proactive and innovative approach to HR issues and advocacy a few years ago, and has worked with the association to supply the labour market data it needs to focus its efforts and make compelling arguments for supporting new initiatives.

Three initiatives in particular demonstrated BLLHA’s commitment to building mutually beneficial partnerships to supply much-needed employees to businesses in the national park, while also providing opportunities for professional development and a chance at meaningful, stable employment to those looking for a career.

  1. Partnering with Royal Roads University on a pilot project to offer 30 international students (the majority from China) a multi-day, hands-on opportunity to undergo training in various hotels, exposing them to different departments and workplace team dynamics.
  1. Spearheading a workforce development initiative that included awarding $500 bursaries to nine deserving individuals, allowing them to complete or augment their education/training. The bursaries covered a wide range of employment opportunities available in the hospitality sector in Banff.
  1. Reaching out to potential Indigenous partners to attract and support more participation from the local Indigenous community, improving the area’s labour challenges. The program connected workers from the Stoney Nation with hard-to-fill hospitality jobs in Banff and Lake Louise. The initiative addressed two challenges: providing employment opportunities to Stoney Nation residents and connecting job seekers with companies in need of hundreds of staff during peak season.

BLLHA continues to think outside the box and explore new and innovative ways of addressing labour shortages that—like the rest of Canada—are projected to continue for the foreseeable future. The association’s approach is something other community associations can look to for ideas and inspiration.

Upon receiving word of the award, BLLHA President Trevor Long stated, “The Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association is truly honoured to receive the award for Outstanding Contribution to Advancing Progressive HR Practices. We have been blessed by the strong and ongoing support of our partners to explore new and innovative approaches to address our destination’s labour force needs. While some of our labour force recruitment and retention efforts have proven more successful than others, we are reminded that it is the sustained commitment to ‘reach further’ that matters.”

Tourism HR Canada is announcing this award as part of Tourism Week, and will present the award later this June, at BLLHA’s annual Board meeting. We congratulate the Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association and look forward to assisting with its ongoing and new initiatives by ensuring access to timely and accurate labour market data.