Across Canada, as part of National Tourism Week running from May 23-30, communities are paying tribute to the economic impact and increased quality of life tourism offers. To mark the occasion, the second annual Love for Kelowna Day has been proclaimed by the City of Kelowna on Saturday, May 29.
To celebrate who we are and where we live, individuals and businesses are encouraged to share posts on social media about what they love about Kelowna, proudly wear Kelowna or Okanagan gear, participate in virtual activities, or simply choose a favorite or new local business to support.
“I hope everyone in Kelowna supports the second annual Love for Kelowna Day this Saturday – it’s a great opportunity to show our local businesses some love as some health orders are loosened,” said Mayor Basran. “As long as we follow the public health guidelines and get vaccinated, we can begin to enjoy all that Kelowna has to offer, while supporting our local businesses.”
Details are available on Tourism Kelowna’s website. It’s all part of drawing attention to the important contributions tourism makes to our community and our individual lives.
“Tourism is an important economic driver here in our community and across Canada,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna. “Beyond economic impact, there is an equally important contribution to quality of life that is directly connected to the local tourism industry. From increased infrastructure, numerous entertainment, cultural, and leisure activities to choose from, and a greater variety of local events and businesses, those who live in a community with a strong visitor economy also benefit from access to those amenities throughout the year. And for many, that makes for an attractive place to live with an enjoyable lifestyle.”
In a normal year, prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the local tourism industry was a $2.1 billion industry, sustained nearly 13,000 jobs, and generated $443 million in spending at local businesses annually. With travel restrictions and public health measures in place for the last 15 months, the economic impact has decreased significantly; however, tourism will play an important role in re-growing the economy in the coming months and years.
As travel restrictions are slowly eased and travel returns, Tourism Kelowna will re-activate marketing, meeting and conference attraction, and visitor experience strategies. The organization will also continue to help residents further connect with – and enjoy – the many services and experiences available right in their hometown. In the coming weeks and months, in line with guidance from public health leaders, we will soon begin to welcome and invite visitors back to our community again.
“Soon, it will be time to come back to what you know and love about Kelowna,” said Ballantyne. “We know visitors are eager to return, and residents are looking forward to inviting friends, families, and loved ones back to explore Kelowna together. We realize we are not through the pandemic and we will continue to reinforce the important public health and safety considerations to keep us all safe. The gradual return gives us much hope that we can soon come together again to experience and celebrate all that Kelowna and the Okanagan has to offer.”