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Tourism Week 2020
May 24th - 31st, 2020

May 25, 2020
Tourism Week Letter To Stakeholders
Given our industry is struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we will be less celebratory this year, and instead, focus on four themes: How Tourism is Helping Communities, Virtual Travel Experiences, Training Opportunities for BC’s Tourism Industry, and educating the public about the value of BC’s tourism industry to all British Columbians, encouraging them to travel within their own province this year.

This initiative is part of an ongoing effort to showcase local tourism products and experiences, support tourism businesses with their restart and recovery efforts, and demonstrate that #BCTourismMatters in communities across the province. What we’re doing and how you can join in:
  • We want to thank tourism businesses for the support they have provided their communities during this crisis, and showcase the heart operators have shown over the past few months by sharing their inspiring stories. Share stories from your own partners by posting them on your social channels, using the hashtag #BCTourismMatters. We’ll share these stories across our platforms and networks, too.
  • As we move through the phases of BC’s Restart Plan we can inspire future travel and bring attention to our industry, by showcasing our remarkable experiences online. Share your virtual travel experiences and tag them with #BCTourismMatters. From walking in an old-growth rainforest, Indigenous arts, and whale watching, to wine tastings and mountain biking, there are a wealth of virtual experiences for British Columbians to discover and inspire trip planning.
  • To support industry development and learning in this uncertain time, we’ll share new and existing webinars and online training opportunities from Destination BC, Google, BC’s Regional Destination Management Organisations, go2HR, and more. Throughout the week, new learning opportunities, as well as valuable tips and tricks for tourism businesses, will be shared online under the #BCTourismMatters hashtag, to help partners navigate our new reality. Please share these opportunities with your networks.
  • Now more than ever, we need British Columbians to understand the value of BC’s tourism industry—how it contributes to our collective social, cultural, environmental and economic well being—and why they should travel within their own province. We’ll be reaching out to media in our communities to encourage them to share the value of tourism with their audiences, and we encourage you to do the same. The more people know about our industry, the more likely they’ll be to spend their travel dollars right here in BC.

Key Stats (source: Destination BC)
  • British Columbia’s tourism industry generated revenue of $20.5 billion in 2018*, an increase of 4.9% over 2017, and a 53.3% increase from 2008.
  • In 2018, British Columbia’s tourism industry employed 161,500 people, a 4.3% increase from 2017. This means that tourism provided a job for roughly 1 out of every 16 people employed in the province.
  • There were 19,329 tourism-related businesses in BC, in 2018, employing over 161,500 people and paying $6 billion in wages and salaries.
  • The tourism industry generated $6.9 billion in export revenue in 2018, growing 8.2% from 2017.
  • GDP for the provincial economy as a whole grew 2.7% over 2017. The tourism industry contributed $8.3 billion of value added or GDP (in 2012 constant dollars) to the BC economy. This represented 3.0% growth over 2017 and 42.1% growth since 2008.
  • In 2018, tourism contributed more to GDP than any other primary resource industry. (Tourism: $8.3B, mining: $5.2B, oil & gas: $4.9B, forestry & logging: $1.8B, and agriculture & fishing: $3.2B.)
  • In 2018, BC residents spent $6.7 billion on international travel, compared to $6.9 billion spent by international travellers in BC, in the same year. While we know we can’t make up for the loss of our international visitors, during this difficult time, British Columbians can support BC’s visitor economy by spending their travel dollars at home, exploring their own province.
  • In 2019, the majority of BC’s visitation was domestic: 74% of all visitors to BC were Canadians. These domestic visitors contributed 49% of tourism revenues in our province.
More provincial statistics on tourism industry performance can be found at:
*Latest information available from BC Stats

During this challenging time, when the future is uncertain, we know by collaborating and highlighting the opportunities and benefits of BC’s visitor economy, we can forge the road to recovery, together.

Message from Minister Lisa Beare

The tourism industry is a major economic engine and job creator for people in British Columbia.

Despite the deep and sudden impacts of COVID-19 on the sector, BC’s tourism leaders were quick to put the greater good of our communities above anything else.
To assist in the pandemic response, many hotels throughout the province swiftly transitioned from welcoming guests to creating safe shelter for front-line workers and people without a place to call home. Workers at the Vancouver Conference Centre sprang into action and transformed that facility into a temporary hospital. Destination marketing organizations pivoted to showcase their communities online and encouraged people to visit later.

Read the entire letter.

TIAC Tourism Week Toolkit

For Tourism Week 2020, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has prepared a Tourism Week Toolkit to help you share the contributions that the tourism sector makes to Canada’s communities, employment, economy and future, with a focus on why #TourismMatters. The toolkit, available at, includes:
  • Social media copy
  • Shareables
  • Key messages
  • Tourism Week Zoom backgrounds
Don’t forget to use the hashtags #TourismWeek and #TourismMatters on social media!

TIABC Tourism Week Toolkit

 The Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIA BC) is encouraging everyone who can to participate in Tourism Week by spreading the message that #BCTourismMatters.

Watch the TIABC website and daily Bulletins for further information this week, such as:
  • Key Messaging for Tourism Week 2020
  • Ideas for Tourism Week
  • Links to social media channels to follow and share
  • Tourism by the Numbers stats and figures to share in your messaging

Destination BC Tourism Week Resources

To mark Tourism Week, Destination BC is working with partners to highlight all the ways our industry has risen above the challenges we have faced during this pandemic. The focus this year is on four main themes:
  • How Tourism is Helping Communities
  • Virtual Travel Experiences
  • Training Opportunities for BC’s Tourism Industry
  • Educating British Columbians on the value of BC’s tourism industry
Please join this week-long initiative and help support ongoing efforts to showcase local tourism products and experiences, support tourism businesses with their restart and recovery efforts, and demonstrate that #BCTourismMatters in communities across British Columbia. 

Learn more at:

WorkSafeBC Protocols for Returning to Operation

On May 15, WorkSafeBC released an initial set of guidelines to help businesses and organizations included in Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan develop their plans to reopen safely. Guidelines have been released for the following sectors relevant to BC’s tourism industry—you will find these on Destination BC's  Operating Guidelines website page, which will be updated as more guidelines are released:

  • restaurants, cafes and pubs;
  • museums, art galleries and libraries;
  • retail;
  • parks and outdoor spaces; and
  • office space.

WorkSafeBC will not be reviewing or approving the plans of individual employers, but in accordance with the order of the Provincial Health Officer, plans must be posted for employees and customers as you resume operations. During a WorkSafeBC inspection, WorkSafeBC will ask employers about the steps they have taken to protect their workers or to see their plan.

We encourage you to read through WorkSafeBC's COVID-19 and returning to safe operation - Phase 2 page to familiarize yourself with the six-step plan all businesses must follow as they develop policies, guidelines, and procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. Let's all do our part to make workplaces healthy and safe to support BC's restart.

The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture continues to work with the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), go2HR, Canada’s West Ski Areas Association, the BC Hotel Association, the Adventure Tourism Coalition, Indigenous Tourism BC and more on the restart guidelines for the tourism sector. If you have sector-specific questions, get in touch with TIABC or go2HR , who have a variety of resources available on their websites.

BC Parks Summer 2020 Guidelines

In support of staying local and avoiding unnecessary travel, BC residents will be given preferential access for the 2020 camping season.
Learn more at the following links:

Discover Camping FAQ:

Re-Opening FAQ:

Parks Affected:

Reminder: Stay Local for Now!

Though some recreational facilities began to reopen in mid-May, the provincial health authority is still recommending that all non-essential travel outside of your home community be postponed. Please stay within your home community and do not travel to recreation properties or other communities for leisure.

BC residents are reminded that they shouldn’t plan to travel to other communities at this time, nor should road trips to other communities be planned during Phase 2. Once provincial health officials see further evidence that the curve has flattened, they will start to look at allowing more regional travel.

Beginning on May 14, 2020, those BC Parks, recreation sites and trails that can accommodate physical distancing re-opened for day use. This includes day-use sites and protected areas.

Parks and recreation sites that can safely provide existing service levels, such as garbage disposal and washroom facilities, will do so. These facilities will be cleaned more frequently.

Click here to read the complete plan.

Some areas and facilities remain closed, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and visitor centres. Check for the most up to date information.

Camping at provincial parks and recreation sites will reopen beginning June 1, 2020 with some exceptions. will carry information about the status of camping in provincial parks.

B.C. is currently entering Phase 2 of the Restart Plan, which includes:
  • small social gatherings;
  • a resumption of elective surgeries and regulated health services like physiotherapy, dentistry, chiropractors and in-person counselling;
  • provincial parks open for day use;
  • opening more non-essential businesses in keeping with safe operations plans;
  • recalling the provincial legislature for regular sittings.
The target date for the start of Phase 3, which will include opening up of additional businesses and services, is between June and September, if transmission rates remain low or in decline.

Phase 4 will only be achieved when the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.
Visit the Tourism Prince Rupert Website
TPR COVID-19 Resource Page
For up to date information on the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism sector in British Columbia, please visit
Tourism Prince Rupert will be working hard to provide you with email updates regarding any new advisories or support programs as they are announced.

Please note we are only providing new information each week. For access to our past newsletters, please visit our Newsletter Archive page.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Ceilidh Marlow
Executive Director, Tourism Prince Rupert
Phone: 778-361-0440
Copyright © 2020 Tourism Prince Rupert, All rights reserved.

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