As we've been connecting with our stakeholders to collect and share information on the impact of COVID-19, we've received good feedback and questions. To help further, we'll take questions and themes and share them through this format. This first set of questions speaks to the need to temporarily pause our destination marketing efforts and increase our efforts to connect local consumers with businesses until we're able to market to visitors again. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why have you postponed destination marketing?
With municipal, provincial, and federal health authorities advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel and to stay home, Tourism Kelowna has temporarily 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.
What are you doing now to maintain awareness of tourism-related businesses and help connect them with consumers?
We are promoting directly to consumers the many ways to #exploreKelownafromhome until we can welcome them back in person. Here are 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.
- Continuing to virtually promote our destination for future meetings and events business.
What are you doing next?
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.