Like you, we were very pleased (and relieved) to hear that BC has moved into Phase 3 of our government’s re-start plan, formally endorsing safe and responsible travel across the province. With this announcement, we will turn up the dial on inviting visitors to come and explore Kelowna and the Central Okanagan. We know visitors are eager to get back to the many things they love about our destination! As COVID-19 remains an important public health issue, we will continue to stay in line with recommendations from our provincial health leaders and emphasize safe and responsible travel. Going forward, we will move away from a weekly update and instead send important items of note to you directly.
Re-activating Destination Marketing
At our AGM on June 12, we offered a preview of our recovery campaign that will begin to push out in waves as travel returns. The materials are live and rolling out, thanking visitors for waiting and letting them know Kelowna is Ready and eager to welcome them back.
The campaign is already live in BC and will soon expand to Western Canada. We are targeting our core customer: visitors who are already familiar with Kelowna or have visited before, using marketing tactics that get consumers to book and travel now to help recover lost revenue.
This includes provincewide print ads, in-programming ads on Global TV, paid social media ads, direct e-mail marketing, Google AdWords, online travel agency partnerships with Expedia and TripAdvisor, digital display banner ads, native content ads, and digital retargeting ads. Click here to see samples. We are also working very closely with Destination BC on their provincewide #exploreBC campaign already running in market. Together we are leveraging media spends and integrating our digital marketing efforts for maximum reach and efficiency
While the Kelowna is Ready campaign has started to roll out, it’s not fully funded. Like many of you Tourism Kelowna’s operating funds have been impacted by the pandemic, so we continue to seek funding to activate more tactics and expand our recovery campaign even further.
Help Show Kelowna is Ready
We have prepared a stakeholder toolkit to give you ideas and tools to use. Kelowna is Ready is a campaign theme that is easy to use and support; we encourage you to get involved. You can record a quick video welcoming visitor back or share content about your new experiences or updated business practices. Be sure to keep your listing on our website up to date and tag #exploreKelowna so we can help share that you’re ready, too!
Providing Relief for Stakeholders
We’ve heard from many businesses that a return to travel does not necessarily mean a return to profitability. With this in mind, one of the first orders of business for the new Tourism Kelowna board was to endorse a COVID-19 recovery program for Tourism Kelowna voting stakeholders in order to directly support local tourism businesses.
We are extending voting stakeholder advertising benefits for another year without additional charge.
Any stakeholder who paid their advertising fees between April 2019 to March 2020 will automatically have their benefits extended. Implementation will be automatic, and additional opportunities and programs remain available at the original package price. Those accommodators that remit MRDT and DMF fees to Tourism Kelowna will be automatically upgraded to the Enhanced Advertising Program for the same period.
In addition, we will offer a one-time, low-cost introductory program for tourism related businesses who are not stakeholders, but who could use additional advertising help and exposure for 12 months on our website. This program does not provide any voting rights in the Society.
We’re still working out some of the implementation details, however I wanted to let you know about this relief program as we open up travel and start welcoming visitors again to take one thing off your mind. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our industry and appreciate the many challenges local tourism businesses continue to face.
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Sara Correa at email@example.com / 250-861-1515 ext. 218 or Cheryl van den Bold at firstname.lastname@example.org / 250-861-1515 ext. 213 for further information or assistance.
I hope you have an enjoyable, safe and prosperous summer full of appreciative visitors looking for ways to explore Kelowna like never before.
Stay safe. Be well.
President & CEO
As you re-open or adjust your business operations, please update your listing on Tourism Kelowna’s website. If you have questions, or updates about your business, please contact us at email@example.com.
A list of important resources is available on Tourism Kelowna’s COVID-19 web page and you can sign up for our Industry News Centre bulletins.