The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the tourism industry worldwide, as well as on our local economy, and has impacted every aspect of our lives. While we are pleased to have moved into Phase 3 of BC's Restart Plan, which endorses safe and responsible interprovincial travel, we understand that recovery will still likely be slow.
We know that the return to travel will not make up for the months lost and it doesn't necessarily mean a return to profitability. To support stakeholders and industry members, Tourism Kelowna is putting in place a recovery effort that directly addresses the fees attached to our Base & Enhanced programs (formerly the Necessities Advertising Program) and the struggles of tourism-related businesses in the area. There are three main elements to this effort:
- All Tourism Kelowna stakeholders who paid their 2019 Base or Enhanced Program (formerly the Necessities Advertising Program) between April 2019 and March 2020 will receive a 12-month extension on their program benefits, which will result in no fees being collected for the Base and Enhanced Program for the next 12 months. Your program will remain the same, there are no changes and no action needs to be taken. When your business renewal date arrives, we will send out a zero dollar invoice for your records.
- All stakeholders who currently remit MRDT or DMF will be automatically upgraded from the Base Program to the Enhanced Program starting in July and will remain enhanced for the next 12 months.
- A Relief Advertising Program is being launched for tourism-related businesses that are not currently linked to Tourism Kelowna. This program will consist of one online listing on the Tourism Kelowna website, valid for 12 months from the time of purchase, and does not allow for voting stakeholder status. The Relief Advertising Program will have a symbolic fee of $5. To join the Relief Advertising Program, please click here.
Tourism is one of our local economy’s most important industries and we believe that by working together, we will come out of this stronger and more resilient. Here is a list of items we encourage you to action to help strengthen our message and industry:
- Use our 'Kelowna is Ready' toolkit to support messaging that Kelowna is ready to welcome visitors. Be sure to tag Tourism Kelowna and use #exploreKelowna when posting to your social media channels.
- Sign up to our Industry News Centre. It's the best way to keep informed of the most up-to-date industry information.
- Review and update your online listing regularly through the Tourism Kelowna Extranet. Keeping your listing up to date allows us to share the correct information with visitors.
- If you haven't already, make sure you sign and send back the Tourism Kelowna Stakeholder Principles.
- Participate in the Biosphere Adhesion Program and make the commitment to a more responsible experience for our visitors.
Your ongoing support and partnership is helping to rebuild economic vitality in the Okanagan. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us as your destination marketing organization. If you have any questions or would like any further information, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.