This summer, our business development team has been working to collect feedback from 16 planners who make up our group of Recovery Advisors. Located across Canada in our key geographic markets, these individuals represent all types of planners including third party, corporate, association, and incentive. Collecting feedback from this cross-section of planners provides our team with a true picture of what is important to share, particularly in terms of what our destination and stakeholders are doing to ensure safe meetings, conferences, and events are possible when it is time to meet again.
The purpose of connecting with the Recovery Advisors is to:
- engage in open dialogue with planners and ensure any concerns are addressed;
- help identify primary concerns of colleagues, clients, and members;
- gain useful feedback for Tourism Kelowna and its stakeholders;
- keep our destination top of mind and demonstrate our commitment to health and safety for all.
An initial survey to the advisors generated similar feedback across all markets, clearly showing that planners expect us to communicate the ways our local businesses have incorporated health and safety practices for guests. In response to this feedback, we updated our website, partner flat sheets, and are looking to incorporate some of the advisors' suggestions into our upcoming virtual content.
The next step is to vet our updated communication pieces with our Recovery Advisors to ensure we are on the right track. We will be sharing more feedback once that information is delivered.
Destination Canada estimates that COVID-19 will result in an estimated loss of nearly $1.17 billion in direct delegate spending, though this number may increase as more events are cancelled or rebooked. Further, they state that "destination analysts see planner confidence in meetings business returning to normal or near-normal levels for the majority of planners in 2021; however, 32% also thought it could be 2022 or later.” With the uncertainty surrounding business events as long-term plans are still up in the air, we want to make sure we are making the right choices to ensure the return to business is as efficient and painless as possible.
We are keeping this quote from Destination Canada top of mind as we move forward: “It’s been said that chance favours the connected mind. The more ways we can connect and support each other, the greater the chance we all have of weathering this storm.”
For more information on the Recovery Advisors, or on Tourism Kelowna's business development activities, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 861-1515 ext. 217.