Much of the tourism industry in Canada has come to a standstill during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Nanaimo Hospitality Association suggests the city has been having success, particularly in recent weeks.
Despite travel restrictions, border closures and new social protocols, the Nanaimo Hospitality Association and its destination partners have seen a “steady return of visitors and overnight guests” since the province moved into Phase 3 of its Restart Plan.
According to the association, in an attempt to “re-ignite local tourism,” an ad campaign was launched in British Columbia that centred around a pledge to cleanliness and safety.
The campaign, which launched in June, is entitled “We’re Ready for You,” and was aimed at rekindling the passion of BC residents for exploring the place they live.
According to the hospitality association, it believes that ad campaign has attributed to success in the tourism space – claiming that hotel occupancy rates have hovered around 70-85 per cent in recent weeks.
The Nanaimo Hospitality Association says it has “surpassed tourism numbers” due to communicating the added precautions being taking by local stakeholders.
“I am so proud of how our local accommodators and tourism stakeholders have really pulled together to re-open our community with these new safety standards in place. We are very excited to continue sharing this special part of Vancouver Island with visitors while still adhering to the highest level of cleanliness,” says Dan Brady, Executive Director of the Nanaimo Hospitality Association.
With a “busy” August long weekend in the rearview mirror, the Nanaimo Hospitality Association says it is looking to keep the momentum going with a new contest.
The contest, being hosted in partnership with Tourism Nanaimo, is offering British Columbians the chance to win several vacation packages, which include hotel stays and local tour experiences like whale watching or Wild Play Nanaimo.
“People are looking for ways to make the most of their summer and Nanaimo is very fortunate to have so much to offer in the way of natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and wide-open spaces to explore along with a variety of local amenities. In the new age of social distancing, I think that also means a lot to visitors, “says Jen Hale of Wild Play Nanaimo.
Although Nanaimo’s local tourism industry is showing signs of success, stakeholders will continue to point out that it is still not what it used to be in years past as the sector was hit hard by COVID-19 closures.