With travel suspended temporarily and ongoing requests for people to stay home, Tourism Kelowna has pivoted away from general destination marketing to focus additional efforts on connecting consumers with local businesses that remain open. At the same time, we have begun preparing our recovery plan for when travel returns.
In addition to providing important, useful information on government relief programs and public health information on our COVID-19 webpage, our website also provides information on businesses that consumers can support as they #exploreKelownafromhome.
Here’s just some of the updated and new initiatives we are providing to help connect consumers to businesses:
- Adding and enhancing interactivity on the Tourism Kelowna website to make it easier to connect consumers with businesses that are open during this period.
- Updating content on our #exploreKelowna blog to focus on ways consumers can #exploreKelownafromhome to support local businesses right now.
- Focusing our weekly industry news almost exclusively on COVID-19 updates and continuously updating information on federal and provincial support programs.
- Continuing ongoing consumer e-mail marketing efforts with tailored content to support Kelowna businesses now and as visitors plan for travel later.
- Engaging in small (and very targeted) digital campaigns to drive further traffic to online resources to connect consumers with businesses they can buy from or support now.
- Expanding our online store and adding dozens of local businesses, artists, and artisans, and continuing to look at additional ways to support businesses' online sales.
- Taking our visitor servicing online where we continue to get questions and interact with residents and future travellers, linking them with accommodations that remain open to help during COVID-19 and with local businesses they can support now and when travel returns.
- Launching a virtual visitor centre with online versions of our most-requested travel planning materials.
- Adding additional virtual experiences to our website so consumers can find new and unique ways to #exploreKelownafromhome. If you have any ideas or virtual experiences to showcase, please share them with us.
- Working with local influencers and partners to further get the message out about the importance of supporting local businesses now and inspiring future travel.
- Supporting the good work Destination British Columbia is doing at the provincial level to keep the dream of future travel alive.
I invite you to learn more about these immediate enhancements and check back often as new content is added weekly. I also encourage you to share ideas and examples of the work you are doing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org—we will help profile your extraordinary and innovative efforts.
It goes without saying that we are all facing challenges unlike anything we have encountered before. Like many of you making difficult decisions right now, we too are making necessary reductions to our operations and staff levels in order to continue providing important information and promotion services.
Our planning for the recovery of our local visitor economy begins now. When deemed safe to do so, our marketing actions will be a swift, strong, and targeted push on activities that bring travellers to Kelowna and bring business back to you. We will update you as details are confirmed; we are planning an industry webinar for mid-April—please watch for more details to come on that.
As our provincial public health officer encourages us to do so, please stay connected as we all find new ways to interact with businesses and each other.
President & CEO
If you have questions or updates about your businesses, please contact us at email@example.com.
A list of important resources is available on Tourism Kelowna’s COVID-19 webpage.