As we near one full year of travel restrictions due to the global health pandemic, Tourism Kelowna wanted to once again gauge the economic impact COVID-19 continues to have on the tourism industry. In mid-February, we sent out our fourth COVID-19 Impact Survey to all Tourism Kelowna stakeholders, and once again we received strong interest and engagement levels from all sectors of the industry. Collecting and analyzing this information helps not only inform our marketing and operations strategy moving forward but also allows us to share an accurate and detailed snapshot of the industry, and the issues it's facing, with different levels of government.
Here are some key findings from the survey:
- 65% of stakeholders have seen revenues decrease +20% during the winter season.
- 60% of stakeholders are forecasting a revenue decrease of +20% for the spring season.
- For half of our stakeholders' winter visitation was lower than what they had expected.
- 31% of stakeholders reported more than usual support from residents.
- 93% of stakeholders are in favour of Tourism Kelowna promoting businesses to a local audience until travel restrictions are lifted.
- 58% of stakeholders are optimistic about the future of their business.
- 84% have accessed government COVID-19 support programs; however, only 26% have applied for the BC Small & Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant.
The open-ended questions demonstrate significant support for the tactics and overall strategy that Tourism Kelowna has followed during this pandemic, specifically around the campaign to support local, and they are in favour of Tourism Kelowna marketing to all of BC and beyond once non-essential travel is again recommended. Stakeholders shared that they are grateful that they have been able to stay open for most of the pandemic, for the support from the local community, and for the area that we live in that allows for great outdoor activities. They also shared that being able to continue to support their employees is a worry, as is the uncertainty of these times and the travel restrictions currently in place.
Thank you to all those stakeholders that took the time to fill out the survey and shared their information with us. If you have any questions about the survey results, please contact Tourism Kelowna's President & CEO, Lisanne Ballantyne, at email@example.com.