Not many industries have been hit harder than tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s a major economic engine and job creator for BC residents, but it’s pretty much come grinding to a halt over the past two months.
While it will certainly take some time for the tourism industry to fully recover from the impact of COVID-19, the average British Columbian will have a big role in how long it actually takes.
As some businesses around the province start to open up this week, let’s explore with care. Stay close to home, support local, and remember: we’re still on this path together. #explorebclocal pic.twitter.com/pgL0lTELvq— Destination BC (@HelloBC) May 19, 2020
According to Lisa Beare, minister of tourism, BC residents spent around $6.7 billion on international travel in 2018, excluding day trips to the United States.
That is awfully close to the $6.9-billion that international travelers spent in BC that same year.
“Redirecting what we spend abroad toward the tourism sector in B.C. can be a strong first step towards recovery that will create jobs, support local economies and allow the sector to get back to being one of our province's biggest economic drivers,” said Beare.
Since international, and even interprovincial, travel isn’t allowed yet, Beare is encouraging people to spend money they might have spent on bigger trips to explore our beautiful province, once it’s appropriate of course.
In addition, the province has also provided $10 million in grants to 59 community destination marketing organizations.
The money is meant to support these organizations efforts in showing BC residents how many amazing travel opportunities are available right here at home.
Destination BC is also working hard to help the tourism sector recover through its three-phased marketing recovery plan: Response, Recovery and Resilience,” explained Beare.
“Its #explorebclocal campaign invites people to explore local experiences and visit businesses close to home.”
British Columbians have already shown massive amounts of support for local businesses during this pandemic and Beare is hoping that support transfers over to BC’s tourism industry and rediscovering the beauty in our own backyards.