During this extremely challenging time for our Stakeholders, we did our best to stay connected via newsletters to keep all our stakeholders aware of the programs available. With the rapid changes occurring, especially in the spring, we were there to provide our stakeholders with the important information and guidance to help move them forward. Weekly, sometimes daily newsletters, gathering all pertinent links into one document for resource.
After seeing Boundary Country struggle through the fires a few years back, to the flood a couple years ago, now COVID-19, businesses were extremely depleted, and this was most certainly a challenging time for our Stakeholders. Our team especially during the early rapid changes spent much time on the phone and emailing our stakeholders, to not only inform them, but to listen to them, and their struggles and try our best to direct them to the resources that could help them most. It was an extremely confusing time for our stakeholders, many of them felt they could loose their businesses. There was a lot of time spent talking and listening to their struggles to help guide them in a positive direction.
We attended weekly Destination Marketing Organization meetings organized by the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Giving us an opportunity to share the challenges our region was facing and hearing the struggles in the other communities, helped to understand, the challenges were not alone in this, our challenges were all similar. Coming together also helped to gain new tools and insights into ways we too could help and guide our stakeholders.
The Tourism Resiliency Program was a welcome program, helped to give the much-needed individual guidance our stakeholders were needing. We encouraged our stakeholders by making them aware of the programs and to utilize the valuable tools that were available to them.
We stayed informed by listening in on weekly Destination BC Calls, as well as staying informed and updated with all the latest newsletters, with TOTA, Tourism Industry of BC, Destination Canada, The Government of Canada, and The Province of BC. We kept the stakeholders informed and updated with new information and links.
When businesses began to reopen, we were there for our stakeholders by providing guidance and the available links needed for clarity to help with this process. Going over proper signage and COVID-19 safety plans needed for this new process.
We acknowledged many of the businesses who were trying to pivot and help bring positive change throughout the chaos of the situation, such as North West Distillery for all their work with producing much needed sanitizer, businesses and restaurants who were pivoting through take out, curbside drop off and deliveries. Highlighting the positive was also important under our What’s New section of the Boundary Country newsletter.
We helped to keep our Boundary Country Website updated with temporary or permanent closures during this challenging time, and help to promote the Explore Later hashtags, produced by Destination BC on our Boundary Country Facebook and Instagram channels and encouraged our stakeholders to do the same.