The importance of having a robust online presence and effective digital marketing increased exponentially over the past year as COVID-19 further shifted the digital landscape. There are several programs and resources tourism businesses can access to help launch or improve their digital platforms and offerings, ensuring they are keeping up to speed with the changing landscape and consumer demand.
Digital Support & Literacy Services Program
As part of the BC Tourism Resiliency Network, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) will connect tourism businesses in the region with a digital expert who will provide one-on-one support and guidance with all things digital, including website, eCommerce, social media, and more. The program is free, thanks to funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD). Find out more and register online.
Launch Online Grant Program
The provincial government is investing up to $12 million to assist small- and medium-sized businesses with creating or improving their online store through the Launch Online Grant Program. BC-based businesses can apply for up to $7,500 in funding to cover up to 75% of eligible expenses. Those businesses who receive the grant must hire BC-based service providers to assist in the creation or improvement of their online store. Review the eligibility requirements and apply online. Applications will be accepted until all funds are dispersed. March 17 Update: The Government of BC is contributing an additional $30 million to the program and businesses can now also use the funds to create or enhance an online booking system. More details can be found in the issued press release.
Destination BC (DBC) Tourism Digital Academy
DBC’s Tourism Digital Academy is a complimentary 8-week program that offers interactive sessions and one-on-one coaching for tourism businesses that want to further develop their digital marketing knowledge and skills. The popular program is fully subscribed for its March session; however, applications will open in August 2021 for the next start date, which is October 4.
For those businesses who prefer working through the program at their own pace, there is now a free, self-guided version, which registered businesses can access for up to 6 months.
DBC's Learning Centre also provides additional resources and tools on a variety of topics.
Destination Canada Marketing Tips & Trips
Destination Canada created a six-part video series with tips and tricks from their team members on several topics:
- Episode 1: Creating Video for YouTube
- Episode 2: On Page SEO
- Episode 3: Instagram
- Episode 4: Making Paid Media Work
- Episode 5: Public Relations 101
- Episode 6: Good Data Matters
The videos range from 3 to 5 minutes in length, offering a quick and easy way to gain further insight into digital marketing.