Though 2020 wasn’t a traditional travel year, Kelowna and area did receive impressive coverage that will help in recovery efforts by keeping us in the mind of travellers for future trips. In addition, when province-wide restrictions were put in place in the fall, we worked closely with Destination BC to spread the “Stay local. Support local.” message.
When travel within the province was encouraged in the summer and early fall, we assisted in coordinating visits from BC-based media and influencers including Emma Choo, Suzanne Morphet (on assignment for Boulevard Magazine, with content forthcoming), and Adrian Brijbassi (gathering information and content for Vacay.ca, where some pieces have already been published)
Later in the fall, as restrictions were put in place, Destination BC led an initiative working with local Kelowna influencers, Basic with Bails and Sprinkle and Whisk, to share the “Stay local. Support local.” message, while highlighting businesses that have their COVID safety protocols posted on their website. Both influencers shared stories and posted one in-feed post that included the safety protocols and the great experiences they had at the businesses. Afterward, their trips were rounded up into Instagram Guides hosted on the HelloBC Instagram account so followers can find more information and be inspired to explore locally or to keep businesses in mind for when it’s safe to travel again.
To kick of 2021, CNN Travel included Canada in its list of 21 places to travel in 2021 (when it’s safe to do so) and Kelowna was one of three BC destinations mentioned. These types of mentions come from years of connecting with travel media, building relationships, and hosting media in our community. Thank you to all of those in the industry that support our media program by presenting journalists, photographers, TV crews, etc., with the best experience possible while in our community. The CNN article was picked up by several other outlets across the globe resulting in a reach of over 300 million.
Looking forward, the travel media program will continue to work with local outlets and influential ambassadors to encourage residents to explore their own backyard. And, once it’s safe to do so, we will work with industry partners to pitch and host relevant media that will help to drive tourism recovery.
If you have any questions or would like more information about Tourism Kelowna's media program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (250) 861-1515 ext. 204.