July 3, 2020

Elite and young independent travelers are crucial to the recovery of the travel sector as they are likely to be the first tourists to embark on international travel, however according to a survey by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, *35% of Gen Z and *48% of Gen Y are still extremely concerned about COVID-19.

Many travel and tourism influencers are drawn from this traveler group, and what they think of and write about in their travel experiences can be highly useful to travel marketing and so they will be indispensable for destination recovery if utilized effectively.

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Amid the pandemic, consumer habits have changed and the importance of having an effective social media presence has been heightened. Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) should engage with influencers and operate across multi-channel platforms to ensure a stronger position for recovery.”

Rather than an induced image brought by a TV ad or campaign, an authentic perception of a destination brought on by another traveler will likely be more credible.

According to GlobalData’s Destination Influencer Dashboard, both VisitGreece and FailteIreland are two of the top ranking on the network. Both DMOs have utilized influencers in marketing campaigns in the past to captivate travelers’ interests bringing real-time engagement worldwide.

Bonhill-Smith continues: "DMOs should recognize the overriding power of an influencer to promote new activities, experiences or even to gain traction within a new market."

Twitter and YouTube have been the most widely used platforms for travel campaigning during COVID-19, but it is clear that platforms such as TikTok also have untapped marketing potential. Some campaigns released by DMOs, such as #DreamNowVisitLater (VisitNorway), have gained considerable interest on TikTok and this is likely to reflect positively on the perception of the destination among younger demographics.

Bonhill-Smith adds: “Social media traffic has dramatically increased as consumers have utilized this as a tool to escape stringent lockdown restrictions. Certain changes are likely to become long-standing as individuals will be more dependent on this to alleviate anxieties and influencers should be a key consideration in travel recovery strategies.”


Vancouver, B.C. – June 30, 2020 – Coast Hotels announced today that it has entered into a franchise agreement to convert the Sandcastle Inn, Parksville, BC to a Coast Hotels property – Coast Parksville Hotel. The hotel will welcome guests under the Coast Hotels banner starting July 1, 2020.

The 36‐room property, which underwent modernization, is ideally located in the beach-side community of Parksville. Guests to the property will enjoy a comfortable stay in the refurbished rooms as well as easy access to key Parksville attractions and amenities - within a couple of blocks.

“We’re really excited about this partnership, and the direction we’re taking the property, working with Coast Hotels”, remarked Shakil Adam, President Evergreen Hotels. While we’ve always enjoyed strong summer occupancy, we’re looking forward to channeling the power of the Coast Hotels brand to grow our business success year-round.

Coast Parksville Hotel is located at 374 Island Highway West – across the street from Paradise Mini Golf and Fun Park and two blocks from the beach. The perfect location for family-friendly travelers, the property also boasts pet-friendly rooms.

“Core to the Coast Hotels brand is being what we call refreshingly local™, and Coast Parksville definitely fulfills on that promise. The property look and feel embraces the west coast colour palate, with its cedar accents. The ownership is invested in the Parksville community and on-property ambassadors are well versed on local businesses and services, encouraging guests to experience Parksville like a local”, noted Coast Hotels VP Hotel Development & Revenue Strategy, Mark Hope.

Coast Parksville marks Coast Hotels fourth property on Vancouver Island. Coast Hotels has existing properties in Victoria (Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA, Nanaimo (Coast Bastion Hotel), and Campbell River (Coast Discovery Inn). In 2021, Coast Hotels will also add a property in Duncan.

“Marking our entry into the brand on Canada Day adds another layer to the celebrations”, states Mr. Adam. “We look forward to working with this great Canadian-based brand.”

Reservations for Coast Parksville Hotel can be made by calling 1.800.716.6199. Guests can expect Coast Hotels amenities including complimentary wi-fi, triple-sheeted bedding, PressReader, in-room Starbucks Coffee & tea, and being rewarded through the Coast Rewards program when visiting Coast Parksville Hotel.


Coast Salish Territories / Vancouver, BC (July 2, 2020): As British Columbia enters Phase 3 of the Province’s Restart Plan, Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is encouraging residents to safely visit Indigenous tourism businesses using their new Trip Planner mobile app. The app is an intuitive planning resource with educational tools that immerses travellers in the culture, history and raw beauty of BC’s Indigenous territories. Now live, the app features enhanced travel and safety information, including up-to-date operating hours, booking requirements and new community protocols.  

After successfully flattening the curve of COVID-19 infections in BC, the Province has unveiled the next phase of economic recovery. Under Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, residents can resume non-essential travel within the province, ensuring to tour safely; travel in smaller groups and adhere to physical distancing measures; and respect newly introduced community guidelines and protocols. Residents who feel comfortable travelling are encouraged to spend their summer holidays in BC, supporting local businesses while exploring the Province’s distinctive regions with care.

ITBC is proud to launch this enhanced version of its Trip Planner App to support responsible provincial explorations while sharing key information about Indigenous activities and attractions that are open for business. The educational platform makes it easy for users to find up-to-date information about Indigenous accommodations, attractions and cultural experiences that are open and operating this summer season, and provides free access to an evolving library of traditional songs, legends and languages to enhance travel experiences. Travellers may also use the interactive map to find nearby Indigenous venues and adventures, or follow suggested itineraries to embark on comprehensive cultural experiences. New operating hours and reopening information will feature prominently, allowing travellers to browse safety protocols and make advance bookings as required.

ITBC’s Trip Planner Mobile App is now available for download. Users are encouraged to read through regional offerings before making travel plans, and to book in advance where possible. Download the app here and to learn more about Indigenous tourism in BC, visit or follow ITBC on social media.


Ottawa, ON (June 24, 2020) - Tourism HR Canada today launched the COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit to guide the hard-hit industry as it works to recover and build resiliency for the medium to long term.

The COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit is a practical, free, web-based program that includes guidelines, workflows, checklists and tools focused on topics like finance, health and safety, human resources and change management to provide action items for tourism operators planning and launching their reopening and recovery efforts. The English version of the COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit is now available at; the French version will be released in the coming weeks.
“Since COVID-19 shutdowns began, the tourism industry has been decimated, with nearly 1 million people losing their tourism jobs and most businesses being temporarily closed,” said Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “With regions slowly allowing businesses and experiences to reopen there is not only hope but a determination to see a rebounding of the once-thriving sector and community as a whole.”
The toolkit includes five modules – Workforce, Communications, Budget & Finance, Marketing and Strategic Planning – and aligns with industry-specific tools already available from key oversight organizations. Each module provides businesses with a roadmap containing actionable tools and tips for implementation, linked to two key themes:

  • Plan: Design and establish policies, procedures and plans for major business and societal disruptions.
  • Respond: Navigate new pressures and address critical questions at the onset of a major disruption; enable rapid response and decision-making to prioritize effectively.

Recognizing there are varying needs and challenges faced within the broader tourism sector, SMEs can access comprehensive industry-specific HR content.
Delivering guidance and instructions for best practices, the contents of the toolkit were developed based on a series of in-depth interviews conducted with SMEs nationwide to understand their current reality and their future needs as the country rebounds from the impact of the pandemic. The toolkit is dynamic and will be updated regularly with new content – all focused on business recovery and resiliency – to reflect new information and market changes. Tourism HR Canada is also partnered with agencies and associations to ensure collaboration and a sharing of tools and resources across platforms to better serve the tourism community.
“The most important conversations taking place are about how to instil confidence in businesses and visitors that it will be economically feasible and safe to re-open and return to travel,” says Mondor. “The best way to do that is to outline a clear set of guidelines to be followed, provide resources and tools to be implemented and create education about how to move forward in these mid- and post-pandemic realities. With businesses following these measures, the public will feel assured that everything is done in order to maintain their health and safety and this will open up the concept of non-essential travel once again.”
The COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit was launched earlier today with a webinar hosted by Tourism HR Canada’s President and CEO, Philip Mondor. A recording of the webinar can be found at


Vancouver, BC – June, 2020:  Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, downtown Vancouver’s “Castle in the City,” announced today that the hotel will reopen its doors to guests and visitors on Friday, July 3, 2020. The hotel closed on March 21, 2020, in an effort to support halting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time the doors were closed in the hotel’s 80 years of operation.


“Our top priority remains the safety, care and wellbeing of our Fairmont Hotel Vancouver family. Welcoming, safeguarding and taking care of others is at the very heart of what we do and who we are,” said Adam Laker, General Manager of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. “This is an important moment in Vancouver as the community looks to continue reopening the city. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver team remains committed to continuing to create lasting memories for both locals and visitors alike, while keeping our guests and employees safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19 – partnering with top experts to implement new standards of safety and enhanced operational protocols and procedures which are among the most stringent in the hospitality industry.”


The new operational standards being implemented at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and at Fairmont properties across North & Central America were developed and vetted by a team of expert advisors to ensure maximum efficacy in preventing the spread of all viruses and pathogens, including COVID-19, with oversight by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspections and certification; Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security & fellow with the Infectious Diseases Society of America; and Ruth Petran, Ph.D., CFS, Senior Corporate Scientist, Food Safety and Public Health, for Ecolab, global leaders in cleaning and hygiene, and trusted advisors to the CDC.


At each touchpoint along the guest journey through Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, extensive measures are being taken to protect guests and employees. Standards such as physical distancing; mandatory screening for all guests and employees, including a temperature check; masks provided to guests and worn by all employees; a 48-hour “settling period” for occupied rooms post-departure; increased frequency of cleaning & disinfecting, with a focus on high-touch points; and continued use of EPA registered disinfecting chemicals, proven effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Hands-on training for all employees, a dedicated on-property rollout committee and a formal audit program, validated under the global ALLSAFE Cleanliness label, ensure initial and continued compliance.


To celebrate the reopening of the hotel, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will be offering a Stay Close offer that features one complimentary night with every night booked. This offer can be booked until July 16 and is available for stays through December 31, 2020, giving the opportunity for guests to books stays further in the future.


In order to ensure travelers can book with confidence, flexible rates are always available for booking, allowing change or cancellation up to 24 hours in advance of arrival. For guests who have booked a non-flexible rate directly with Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for travel through June 30, 2020, the hotel has adopted more flexible modification and cancellation policies to help guests and clients shift their travel plans as needed. For more information, please call the hotel directly at 604.684.3131.


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