With Borders Closed, Vancouver Island Prepares for Canadian Snowbirds

October 26, 2020 Admin

With many Canadians shying away from visiting the U.S., Vancouver Island is prepared for a rush of snowbirds.

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) and Tourism Vancouver Island (TVI) have partnered to assist Canadian “snowbirds” – residents who travel to warmer destinations during colder months – who are choosing to come to Vancouver Island this fall/winter due to COVID-19 restrictions precluding travel to the United States.

The partnership has created a dedicated resource for long-stay visitors who plan to “Venture West This Winter” at VancouverIsland.Travel/Snowbirds to promote dispersion of business across the Vancouver Island region, winter activities and mindful travel.

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,” said 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.”

“B.C.’s accommodation community has suffered monumental financial losses and hardship due to COVID-19’s impact on travel,” added 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 amplifies the recovery marketing work of its industry partners, including Destination Greater Victoria, who will extend promotion to potential Canadian visitors this winter through its own dedicated marketing campaign.

TVI and BCHA hope this partnership will serve as a successful model that can be replicated across the province by the British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat; a partnership between BC’s five Regional Destination Management Organizations, including Tourism Vancouver Island, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association and Northern British Columbia Tourism Association.

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