With a growing number of confirmed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases occurring in an increasing number of countries
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Tourism Kelowna

STAKEHOLDER BULLETIN: COVID-19

MARCH 6, 2020

With a growing number of confirmed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) cases occurring in an increasing number of countries, Tourism Kelowna continues to monitor the global health situation and to review our plans for any business recovery efforts that may be required here at home. We are committed to providing you with regular updates on what we know, what we’re doing, and what you can do.

It’s important to note that Canada, British Columbia, and Kelowna and the Central Okanagan remain safe travel destinations and the risk of infection in the province remains low at this time. Major events, conferences, and festivals continue as planned.

Potential impact on our destination

This public health issue is already impacting the global tourism industry. However, it is too early to gauge to what degree the resulting travel and business impacts will affect our provincial and local tourism industries – but we know it will.

As background, we know that the vast majority (over 80%) of visitors to Kelowna are domestic travellers, with much of that coming from our main travel markets of British Columbia and Alberta. At present, we expect this market to continue to perform well.

To date, we have not heard of any significant impact on our local tourism industry. We have heard isolated reports of group travel business cancelling or rescheduling – and we will continue to closely monitor leisure, business, and group travel as we enter months with traditionally higher traveller volume.

What we’re doing

Tourism Kelowna is working closely with our provincial and national destination marketing organizations and receiving regular updates from official sources. Just this week, we have been part of provincial and federal agencies' planning and discussion sessions.

Our role as your destination marketing organization is to communicate facts and updates that will help you, as a tourism-related business, to manage your response to any potential market changes. We will continue to provide you with links to reliable, expert sources for health information.

There are currently no changes planned for our marketing activities. Our winter campaign is wrapping up and a strong spring campaign is starting to roll out. Our Visitor Centre location continues to connect visitors to all the attractions and unique experiences Kelowna offers.

We will continue to prepare and plan in the event different or additional work is required on behalf of our local tourism industry. For more information on how Tourism Kelowna reviews and responds to issues facing our industry, please review this brief document.

What you can do

We understand that issues like this create uncertainty for local businesses and your customers. We recommend you plan and prepare in advance to help your employees and customers and answer their questions.

Please be assured that the entire team at Tourism Kelowna is here for you and committed to the ongoing success of our local tourism industry.

Now more than ever, we will be reaching out to you to gather your feedback but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any information to share or any questions. Our visitor experience team at the Kelowna Visitor Centre is an excellent resource and you can reach any Tourism Kelowna staff member directly with updates.

Our collaboration remains our strength.

Lisanne Ballantyne
President & CEO
Tourism Kelowna

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