Our industry, and local visitor economy, continue to feel the devastating effects of COVID-19. While containing and responding to the public health issue remains the priority, Tourism Kelowna and other DMOs across the province have begun launching action plans.
Provincially and federally, our partners at the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) and Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), are leading advocacy initiatives seeking immediate government support for the travel and tourism industry. Tourism Kelowna is at the table, along with many industry partners, looking for immediate and meaningful support for our local stakeholders during this difficult time.
The federal and provincial governments have announced their COVID-19 response plans, though both say more details and announcements are still to come including specifics to the travel and tourism industry. You can learn what has been announced so far here.
What now? Preserve our vital businesses and industry.
With current travel and meetings restrictions in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 our efforts have temporarily shifted from destination marketing to fully focusing on connecting your businesses with consumers you can serve right now. Whether that’s restaurants doing delivery and take out or wineries shipping across Canada, we are promoting directly to consumers the many ways to #exploreKelownafromhome until we can welcome them back in person. In the meanwhile, our meetings and events team continues to sell future business and our visitor experience team has gone fully virtual as they continue to answer inquiries from residents and future visitors alike.
What next? Prepare to Push for economic recovery.
We stand ready and when travel resumes, we will act immediately to push out marketing tactics focused on generating tourism revenue flow. Once public health safety is declared and travel restrictions are lifted, we will launch our efforts in short-haul (Western Canada) markets, while leveraging partnership programs to drive immediate visitation. We will be sharing further details of our recovery plan in early April; watch for further information coming soon. For now, click here for a look at our initial framework.
Tourism Kelowna staff, volunteers, and board members are reaching out to stakeholders every day, hearing your stories of struggle and uncertainty. We know our industry has experienced losses no one could have predicted, and we know the road to recovery will be long. However, now with a recovery plan in place—a plan that is aligned with Destination BC’s provincial recovery strategy—we can take back some control by taking our first steps to preserve, push, and promote our way forward to a resilient recovery.
President & CEO
Please reach out to any member of the Tourism Kelowna staff for assistance, or to share feedback on further ideas or request for information to help you through this time. If you have a specific update on your organization’s business operations, please contact our visitor experience team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A list of important resources is available on Tourism Kelowna’s COVID-19 web page.