Canadian snowbirds pose a ‘promising opportunity’ for B.C. hotels, Tourism Vancouver Island this winter

Canadian snowbirds pose a 'promising opportunity' for B.C. hotels, Tourism Vancouver Island this winter

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) and Tourism Vancouver Island (TVI) are looking at Canadian snowbirds as presenting a unique opportunity for local businesses this winter.

The two organizations have partnered together in order to build an enticing resource aimed at attracting Canadians who travel to warmer destinations during the colder months.

It is common for Canadian “snowbirds” to typically head to southern climates in the United States during the winter months, however, with the borders closed due to COVID-19, many are looking at other options.

The BCHA and TVI have created the “Venture West This Winter” campaign as a dedicated resource for long-term visitors looking for a place to stay this winter. The resource promotes a “dispersion of business across the Vancouver Island region, winter activities and mindful travel,” according to a joint press release.

On the “Venture West This Winter” hub, snowbirds can book accommodation, educate themselves on safety protocols for the communities they will be visiting and “plan ahead to spend their extended time on the Island living like a local.”

“With our temperate winter climate, Vancouver Island is a natural alternative for Canadian Snowbirds,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO, Tourism Vancouver Island. “We are committed to supporting the survival of the 3,000+ tourism businesses in the Vancouver Island region by adapting our target visitor and forging deep partnerships and collaboration, including with BCHA, to strengthen the visitor economy.”

The website promotes a variety of activities across Vancouver Island including storm watching, fishing, golf, and hiking. It also highlights a variety of long-term stay accommodations at different price points.

“B.C.’s accommodation community has suffered monumental financial losses and hardship due to COVID-19’s impact on travel,” adds Ingrid Jarrett, President & CEO, BC Hotel Association. “With the Canada-U.S. border closed for the foreseeable future, the fall/winter off-season poses particularly threatening challenges to the tourism industry. This requires an innovative look at new potential markets and Canadian Snowbirds pose a promising opportunity that we are thrilled to explore.”

Tourism Vancouver Island says that it is trying to amplify the recovery marketing work of its industry partners, including Destination Greater Victoria, who will extend promotions to potential Canadian visitors this winter through its own dedicated marketing campaign.

TVI and BCHA add that they hope this partnership will serve as a successful model that can be replicated across the province by the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat.
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