Effective midnight on November 19, province-wide restrictions were put into place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and public health leaders are once again asking residents to stay local as much as possible. While there are no travel bans or orders in place, strong recommendations against non-essential travel have been issued. The order is in place until midnight on December 7, 2020. While we all continue to do our part to protect public health, we also recognize this will have immediate, direct, and significant impacts on local tourism businesses and travellers.
What we are doing
In line with the recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer to restrict non-essential travel as much as possible, Tourism Kelowna has temporarily paused paid advertising and promotions outside our region. We will reactivate our winter marketing tactics as soon as we are able.
Our team continues to provide information and assistance to travellers who are seeking guidance regarding future travel and will help local businesses persevere through this challenging time by promoting ideas and activities to safely #exploreKelownalocal.
The Kelowna Visitor Centre remains open to the public with enhanced health and safety measures in place. We also serve visitor and resident inquiries through phone, email, social media, and live chat channels. Tourism Kelowna's business development team continues to pursue meeting and event planners to develop future business for the time when meetings, conferences, and major events can return.
We will continue to update our website with COVID-19 information, resources, and links to further information to help. We also continue to support the work of the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia and numerous sector organizations as the industry demonstrates the impact of these continued and significant challenges.
What local businesses can do
Public health leaders have emphasized that when health and safety guidelines are followed, the risk of transmission is low. The extraordinary efforts of local businesses to keep customers and employees safe have already demonstrated that visits to accommodations, attractions, and businesses with COVID-19 measures in place can be enjoyed safely and responsibly. Continuing with these efforts is necessary to help the industry and local economy recover.
As part of the province-wide restrictions, businesses are being asked to review and update their COVID-19 measures. To help inform the public and restore consumer confidence, continue to promote and showcase the many health and safety procedures your business has in place to keep your team and visitors safe. A reminder that businesses are required to post their up-to-date COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan at their place of business and on their website, if they have one.
The challenges presented by COVID-19 directly impact the bottom line of a business. There are relief programs and resources out there to assist during this time, like the Tourism Resiliency Program; however, each local business may need to review their operations and make decisions to get through the coming months.
Be sure to connect with our team to share important information and updates, or if you have any questions. Our team is available to help you connect with the resources and information you might need as we continue to work together through the COVID-19 pandemic.