As the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly and with directives from public health officials advancing daily, is it clear that this pandemic is having a significant and direct impact on our community. Last week, we sent out our first survey to Tourism Kelowna’s voting stakeholders to hear how COVID-19 is directly impacting our local tourism industry. The survey closed Monday, March 16, with the following results:
- 93% of respondents reporting that they have been affected by news of COVID-19.
- Cancellations of bookings/visits, meetings, and events, and a change in visitor or guest numbers, were ranked at the top of the list of impacts.
- Most respondents estimated impacts greater than 30% for the spring season and significant carryover impact projected into the summer.
- Additionally, 64% of respondents reported that staffing has been impacted, primarily as it relates to staffing levels and hours.
- Local tourism businesses are adjusting their operations in several ways, and sometimes drastically, to respond to requests from public health.
When asked how Tourism Kelowna can best serve the industry during these extraordinary times, stakeholders prioritized being kept informed and updated on government announcements, such as aid packages and stimulus spending, and key information pertaining to COVID-19.
This early feedback will continue to inform our tactics and areas of focus. If the COVID-19 situation continues we will issue another survey to help track business impact trends. We will continue to provide information to our stakeholders through our weekly stakeholder bulletins and through our Industry News Centre. Here are some resources currently available specific to economic recovery, financial supports, and small businesses:
We will continue to connect with you and keep you updated on our team’s actions to assist our industry in the short term, and as we plan a strong recovery phase.