Like you, Tourism Kelowna has been closely monitoring news reports of the Coronavirus situation. Though the origin and main area of activity are across the globe, with two isolated cases in Canada now confirmed, we understand this issue may be on the minds of local businesses and operators as it creates uncertainty about the potential impact on our industry and our destination.
The cross-border response has been quick, co-ordinated, and open. Canadian and Chinese governments have taken additional measures to restrict and limit travel to and from the region that is mainly affected. Today’s development that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a public health emergency of international concern will raise both the interest level and the response efforts. While public health issues are taken very seriously, it is also important to note that Canada remains a safe destination for travel.
Tourism Kelowna is connected with our provincial and national destination marketing organizations for travel advisories and updates and will continue to work with local organizations including travel, transportation, and healthcare partners on any required local response.
We know this issue has and will affect the global visitor economy, especially on group and tour travel. Our research indicates that Kelowna and area receives less than 1% of annual overnight visitors from China, and that number is especially low in the winter and spring months. With most of our visitors coming from Western Canada, that strong business is expected to remain. As tourism is such an important industry to our community, be assured that we will continue to monitor any direct or potential impact on our local visitor economy and will respond accordingly.
Additional resources are listed below for your information. We will continue to work together with our partners and share updates with local businesses. If you have any questions, or if your business is being directly impacted by this issue, please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (250) 861-1515 ext 202.
President & CEO
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