Our local tourism industry is facing an extremely challenging summer. As we head into the August long weekend—historically the busiest weekend in our year—we’re dealing with a number of active and quickly evolving issues.
First, the ongoing global pandemic continues to affect us at the local level. Yesterday, Interior Health issued additional, mandatory public health measures to help reduce COVID-19 transmission in our region. Details are available on the Government of BC’s website and below you will find key messages and Q&As to assist you and your staff. Second, hot and dry conditions have created extremely challenging weather conditions and wildfires. The conditions change day-to-day and impact the travel experience. Third, and likely closest to home for our local businesses, is the extreme labour shortage we’re all facing, placing additional stress on top of an already strained industry.
It’s easy to focus on the challenges, but it is also helpful to list the positives. Overall, BC and Canada continue to fare well in both the fight against COVID-19 and economic recovery. Our community has not been directly impacted by wildfires. And for the most part, customers continue to come to our region, reunite with friends and family, and explore Kelowna and area. We’re thankful for those working hard to keep us safe at home and as we travel, from health care workers to firefighters and many behind the scenes. We also sincerely appreciate all of the tourism and hospitality workers putting in extra hours and effort for the comfort and safety of their customers.
Tourism Kelowna is here to help through this challenging season and to help position us for our recovery. Please be in contact with our team with updates from your business or questions. We’ve faced challenges and come through before, and I know we’ll do so again.
Be safe. Be well.
President & CEO