Without question, this is the most challenging summer Kelowna and the Central Okanagan has faced in our lifetime. What's even tougher to comprehend, is that it's coming off the toughest year our industry has faced. Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, we've had more than 12 months where some form of travel restriction was in place. The pandemic and associated travel restrictions required us to pause and quickly re-align our marketing efforts to drive business among local or regional consumers until we were again able to market within the province. We applaud our local tourism businesses for the resilience they have shown and are grateful for the hard work they've put in to remain open and to safely serve visitors and residents alike. 

Now that summer has dealt our community and our industry another tough blow, the need for a strong fall campaign is even more critical. Our marketing activities in fall and winter will be crucial to the short-term recovery of our local tourism industry and to our long-term rebuilding efforts.  

When it's safe to do so, our goal is to welcome visitors back into the fall and winter. It's important to note that travel volume goes down in fall and winter because fewer people are available to travel for leisure purposes. As such, we will work hard (and smart) to connect with individuals interested in travel and seeking the many remarkable experiences Kelowna is known for in the fall. Given we've missed out on so many visits from friends and family, we're looking forward to inviting and welcoming loved ones to revisit the many great things about fall in the Central Okanagan. Our business development team continues to work to secure group bookings and major events in these key months as well, which is so important to building four-season visitation with as much balance as possible.

Provided public health and emergency travel considerations allow us to market, our fall campaign is set to launch after the Labour Day long weekend. The campaign is set to run in BC, Alberta, Ontario, and other parts of Canada, and will include a wide mix of marketing tactics including partnerships with online travel agencies, digital advertising, television ads, contests and promotions, sponsored content pieces, and social media advertising. More details will be provided in the coming weeks. 

We also have a marketing campaign ready to support new direct air service between Kelowna and Montreal that will start running in early September with airport advertising, airline advertisements, digital ads, and social media advertising in both official languages. 

Our investment in fall and winter will be our most significant to date because we know the need is great as we put a lot of our focus—and our faith—in fall. If you have any questions about our marketing and/or communication strategies, please contact me at chris.shauf@tourismkelowna.com.