We know from our inboxes full of surveys, economic projections and links to financial relief programs that the impact of COVID-19 on B.C.’s tourism industry is top-of-mind for all levels of government. There are many organizations gathering data and we would like to thank you for completing these surveys, even though some may have duplicate questions. The data from these surveys is being used to form new policy and programs that will help tourism businesses to survive and thrive again.
Yesterday Tourism Vancouver Island announced that it is partnering with ICET to deliver the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program. This is a program that will make a big difference. It will provide businesses with hands-on help and support as they navigate the current COVID-19 crisis, through to their eventual recovery post-pandemic. The first phase of support will focus on the economic and operational challenges that businesses are facing at this time. Beginning early April, operators will be able to schedule calls with experts in human resources, finance, and business transition. To register for the first informational webinar go to: https://victrp.ca/
And finally, like many of you, due to rapidly declining revenues Tourism Tofino has had to make some very difficult decisions to reduce expenses including laying off or reducing work schedules of its staff. This leaves us with limited resources however we will continue to:
- service visitor inquiries
- maintain local business operating information: Tofino business modifications-closures
- maintain a social media presence
- support provincial and regional communication efforts and alignment of visitor-facing messaging: Destination BC Messaging Guidance
- be a conduit to connect members to resources and programs: Links to financial relief programs are available at: Tofino-Long Beach Chamber , Tourism Industry Association of BC and Destination BC Industry Resources
- and plan for recovery marketing when allowed and appropriate
As everyone is coming to grips with this tragic pandemic we can all take pride in the efforts of B.C. residents to flatten the curve. Thank you to all of those workers keeping our essential services operating. Thank you also to our local and provincial political and health care leaders who are committed, constant and consistent in their attention to our safety.