With the escalation of the COVID-19 public health issue, businesses, especially tourism businesses, are now feeling the financial impact. With new travel restrictions now in place, we know that now, more than ever, you are having to make some of the toughest decisions yet on operations and staffing.
In the initial stakeholder impact survey issued last week, 64% of respondents said their staffing had been directly impacted (and that was before BC declared a public health emergency and a provincial state of emergency). We know that number has since grown and we will continue tracking these trends to help you plan. You can click here to read more about the impact survey.
Survey responses also provided important information about what you want to hear from us, and how as your DMO we can best support you. You asked to be kept informed of government announcements, especially around economic stimulus and financial assistance programs. Earlier this week, the federal government released its program and the provincial plan is expected soon. Specific links to help you are:
Preserve. Push. Promote.
As you would expect, we have temporarily paused our destination marketing activities until the time is right to encourage consumers to travel again. Instead, our immediate attention has shifted to helping preserve our local tourism industry. Then, when the health situation improves, we will follow with a strong and immediate push focusing our resources on generating immediate economic activity. Our hope is that by fall of this year we can return to our proven marketing strategies and tactics for wider promotion of our remarkable destination.
We acknowledge a lot has changed, and Tourism Kelowna will continue to pivot and adapt as needed to best support the industry we serve. Also know that the Tourism Industry of Canada and the Tourism Industry of British Columbia, organizations that Tourism Kelowna is a member of, are both working directly with government on advocacy and lobbying for supports and systems in place for the tourism industry.
Visitors will return and meanwhile, you, your business, and our industry remain our primary focus.
President & CEO
Please reach out to any member of the Tourism Kelowna team for assistance, or to share feedback on further ideas or requests for information to help you through this time. If you have specific updates on your organization’s business operations, please contact our visitor experience team at email@example.com.
A list of important resources is available on Tourism Kelowna’s COVID-19 web page.