B.C. hotels and resorts with a bar, pub or restaurant on site will soon be able to allow their guests to carry unfinished liquor from their licensed establishment directly to their rooms, a move that provides flexibility for businesses and increases convenience for British Columbians and visitors to the province.
Previously, guests were restricted to drinking alcohol in licensed areas and were unable to take their drink back to their room. Hotels and other overnight accommodation spots will have the discretion to allow guests to finish their drink at their own pace and in the comfort of their suite. Additionally, hotels and resorts that own a bar or pub onsite will soon be able to provide guests with a complimentary standard-sized alcoholic beverage upon check-in.
As work continues to modernize B.C.’s liquor laws, ensuring the sale of liquor is regulated in a safe and socially responsible manner remains the top priority. All employees serving liquor in B.C. are legally required to maintain Serving It Right certification to ensure alcohol is being served responsibly, and all licensed establishments are subject to regular inspections by the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. The Province also provides all licensed establishments mandatory display materials to educate customers about the importance of responsible alcohol consumption.
These changes will come into effect on Jan. 23, 2017.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –
“B.C. has already welcomed over 4.5 million visitors from around the world this year, and these changes will allow our hotels and resorts the flexibility to provide them with best possible experience. By repealing unnecessary liquor restrictions and cutting red tape, we are creating new opportunities for B.C. businesses and increased convenience for British Columbians. ”
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform –
“Throughout the Liquor Policy Review process it was made clear that both British Columbians and industry wanted common sense changes to bring B.C.’s liquor laws into the 21st century. Today’s announcement is a win for the tourism and overnight accommodation industry, and a win for British Columbians and visitors to our province. ”
David MacKenzie, president of the BC Hotel Association –
“Add the luxury of a complimentary cocktail at check-in or the convenience of saying ‘yes’ to a guest who wishes to go back to their room and enjoy the rest of their drink are the details that make our guests feel at home. Removing these small but significant restrictions will help our industry provide the best possible service.”
Poma Dhaliwal, president of the Alliance for Beverage Licensees –
“Allowing our members to apply common-sense rules like allowing their guests to carry their unfinished drinks back to their room, or serving a complimentary cocktail upon check-in are changes that we have been working toward for some time. These changes are an important step forward as we continue working with the provincial government to increase choice and convenience for British Columbians and cut red tape for our licensees.”
Philip Meyer, managing director of Rosewood Georgia Hotel –
“It is important to keep these policy changes moving forward so we can be on par with other international world-class destinations. Our guests are world travellers and come near and far to be with us – whether on business or just here for a weekend getaway, we always want to do everything possible to make them feel at home. Today’s announcement will go a long way to make our guests feel more comfortable, and we are looking forward to taking advantage of these new changes.”
- This policy will also apply to golf courses throughout B.C., which will have the option to allow guests to carry their drink between licensed areas on the course.
- B.C.’s 2013 Liquor Policy Review made 73 common-sense recommendations to change B.C’s liquor laws to reflect current lifestyles, encourage the growth of small businesses and the province’s economy, address calls for consumer convenience and continue to safeguard health and public safety.
- This change will implement recommendation #64 of the Liquor Policy Review.
- To date, 49 of the 73 Liquor Policy Review recommendations have been implemented. Work to implement additional recommendations is ongoing.
- Over one-quarter of the Liquor Policy Review recommendations currently being implemented focus on health, safety and social responsibility.
- Read the full list of Liquor Policy Review recommendations: www2.gov.bc.ca/local/haveyoursay/Docs/liquor_policy_review_report.pdf
For more information about the Liquor Policy Review: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/impact/bc-liquor-policy-review-results/