The Ministry of Environment will be assisting commercial outfitting operations facing financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the coming year. In addition, the ministry will be extending the same measures to Saskatchewan’s ecotourism industry for 2021-22.
“In 2020, the Saskatchewan Commission of Professional Outfitters estimated that outfitters suffered more than $88 million in lost revenue, due to cancellations and reduced demand,” Environment Minister Warren Kaeding said. “These relief measures align with steps the government is taking to assist other industries facing similar difficulties related to COVID-19, and will provide further financial relief for the outfitting and ecotourism sectors.”
The interim measures are similar to 2020-21. Provincial assistance includes:
- Forsaking outfitting licence fees for those who do not operate in 2021;
- Allowing outfitters to retain the right to a licence in 2022, as well as maintaining the ability to advertise for the 2022 season;
- Reducing fees for those who do decide to operate this year to $20 for each licence, endorsement, day-use lake fee and outcamp fee; and
- Setting 2021-22 disposition rates to $0 for outfitters and ecotourism operators with Crown resource land leases or permits.
“The last year has been a challenge for us all,” Kaeding said. “The Ministry of Environment wants to thank all outfitters and ecotourism operators, not only for their contributions to our economy and tourism, but for their efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Outfitters who do not wish to be licensed for the coming year must notify the ministry in writing by June 1, 2021. If a notification is not received by the June 1 deadline, outfitters will be required to pay annual licence fees for the 2021-22 season.
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