Photograph: Journey Penticton
Journey Penticton govt director Thom Tischik gave metropolis council a rundown of decreased tourism exercise in 2020, and what the group will likely be specializing in to get better in 2021.
“So how can we transfer on right here? I believe to maneuver on we have to replicate again a bit,” Tischik stated.
In keeping with Vacation spot Canada, Tischik defined, the tourism business across the nation was the toughest hit through the pandemic and would be the final to get better from the pandemic, and that “the state of the customer economic system is extra dire than following the impacts of 9/11, SARS and the 2008 financial disaster mixed.”
The restoration timeline is considered by Vacation spot Canada as 4 to 5 years earlier than the business is again to 2019 ranges.
“That to me was a shock, I used to be wanting towards the 2 to a few yr state of affairs, hopefully issues do go that approach,” Tischik stated. “However we nonetheless have to suppose that this isn’t quick time period, that is extra long run.”
In Penticton, utilizing the most recent accessible knowledge for 2020, which doesn’t embody the month of December, resort occupancy was down 30.three per cent general in Penticton.
The stats present there was a transparent and inevitable drop within the month of March to coincide with the pandemic. Earlier than that, January and February had each been up 17 per cent yr over yr.
Alternatively, visitors to Journey Penticton’s web site was up eight per cent yr over yr, which Tischik defined exhibits regional travellers, whose farther flung holidays have been not possible, have been searching for locations to go to nearer to residence.
“They did not know in the event that they have been going to have the ability to journey or felt snug travelling, they usually checked on Penticton,” Tischik stated. “The 4 to four-and-a-half hour drive, from Vancouver, labored out excellent for us.”
Wanting ahead, Tischik pointed to some optimistic indicators, just like the South Okanagan being named Canada’s high vacation spot for 2021 by Vacay.ca — a consequence Tischik stated happened after a number of invited visits to Penticton by a journey author, encouraging him to put in writing in regards to the location, which Tischik stated “got here out to be I believe a reasonably darn good funding.”
And a latest BC Residents’ Public Perceptions survey in February that confirmed 84 per cent of BC residents plan to journey to “close by communities” within the subsequent 12 months, and 69 per cent saying they intend to go to “elsewhere in BC.”
However with the vaccine rollout unpredictable in its finish date and uncertainty round how shortly live shows, occasions and conferences will have the ability to return, Tischik stated they’re ready for summer time 2021 to be a equally quiet affair as 2020.
Different points Tischik highlighted going ahead will likely be labour points, with retention, future recruitment and sustainability high of thoughts, and sure aggressive competitors from different BC, Canadian and even worldwide journey vacation spot.
“All people’s hurting and I believe there’s going to be vital competitors on the market to get out and do what they name revenge tourism, to get on the market and fritter away that yr that they misplaced,” Tischik stated.
“We’re placing the social media on the market that we’re preparing for these guests, we wish you to be right here.”
Tischik stated Journey Penticton hopes to work intently with metropolis within the coming yr to advertise consciousness of the town as a vacation spot, highlighting key iconic identities of the area as wine nation, an out of doors paradise, a spot to find Indigenous tradition and extra, and conferences and occasions as allowed.
“You are what we promote. We promote companies right here, nevertheless it’s additionally the vacation spot of Penticton. We’re your gross sales individuals,” Tischik informed council. “We’re on this for years, not months. I believe it is extraordinarily essential for all of us to work collectively … on promotions that we do, and popping out with a transparent, frequent purpose on the finish of this.”
Tischik can also be hoping to work with native short-term lodging companies and the town to assist a rise within the native Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) from two per cent to a few per cent, bringing it consistent with different close by communities like Osoyoos.
Council praised Journey Penticton for its work sustaining the town’s profile through the pandemic.
“We have now to remain on the radar with vacationers and I believe you have carried out that the majority admirably,” Coun. Judy Sentes stated.
Council obtained the report throughout a Committee of the Entire assembly Tuesday.