Show your love for Kelowna campaign attempts to offset tourism's economic crisis | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Show your love for Kelowna campaign attempts to offset tourism's economic crisis

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
May 25, 2020 - 11:12 AM

Tourism-based businesses came off a banner year but COVID-19 has dealt a curveball, which the organization that advocates for the industry is calling its "biggest crisis."

More than 1.8 million overnight visitors grew Kelowna’s average hotel occupancy to 65.7 per cent  in 2019 – the highest on record – with 10 of 12 months posting increases over the previous year.

That momentum stopped with COVID-19, and 2020 has become a year of helping preserve local businesses and recover lost revenue.

“Each local business in the Central Okanagan tourism industry has already demonstrated incredible resiliency after bouncing back from challenging years with high water levels and smoke from wildfires,” Lisanne Ballantyne, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna said in a press release.

“Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 is very likely the biggest crisis many local tourism businesses have had to face, and the rebound will take time to restore.”

Ballantyne pointed out that all Okanagan residents have a favourite restaurant, winery, golf course or other local business, and their business is supported by residents and visitors.

To cap off tourism week, Tourism Kelowna is introducing “Show Your Love for Kelowna Day” on May 30. Residents are encouraged to support local businesses, show appreciation to those that work in the industry, share content about their favourite places and spaces on social media by tagging #exploreKelownalocal, and proudly show off their Kelowna and Okanagan apparel.

People looking for apparel can shop Tourism Kelowna’s online store at

From May 13 to 30, $4 from each purchase made will be directed to the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation to help tourism and hospitality workers.

Residents that show their love for Kelowna will be entered to win a gift card to the online store.

Further details about tourism week are available here.

The Kelowna Visitor Centre is also set to reopen for walk-up service on Monday, June 1, primarily to help residents and serve the community. Enhanced public safety measures will be in place and hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2020

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