As travel restrictions begin to loosen as a part of the Restart B.C. plan, Tourism Golden has decided to resume their “Locals Lowdown” campaign to showcase the true spirit of the city.
The campaign, which launched in March 2019 but was shelved temporarily due to COVID-19, features 19 videos that showcase different residents and why they love Golden.
With restrictions being eased, the videos were re-launched to promote local tourism. The re-launch coincides as well with reports that Alberta-registered vehicles were being targeted due to anti-travel sentiment, spurred by COVID-19 and hopes to help the negative impression left by those experiences.
According to Andy Brown, the communications and social media spokesperson for Tourism Golden, the campaign seeks to showcase the true spirit of community in Golden and counter-act the negative impression left by those who targeted the vehicles.
“We want to put a personality to the town,” said Brown.
“A lot of people come to Golden because they love the outdoors, but it’s the people behind the town who make this little town in the mountains so awesome, it’s really the people who make the community.”
The campaign also coincides with B.C. tourism week. Golden’s tourism industry contributes significant economic benefits to the Golden area, as well as the rest of B.C., with an average 75 per cent of gross business revenues being generated from tourism, according to Tourism Golden.
Brown said the videos focus on Golden as a welcoming spot to visit, once restrictions are lifted.
Brown emphasized that while many have taken to Facebook to complain about their cars being targeted due to out of province plates, he said he was happy to see that the vast majority of the people in the comments did not condone that kind of behaviour.
“Seeing those posts, it makes you shake your head,” said Brown.
“Yeah, someone left a note that read “go home”, but when you read the comments on the Facebook post you quickly see that the overwhelming majority of residents believe that this is not what Golden is all about and that what happened was not right.”
The post in question, from Jessica Ann Sofie Grey, amassed more than 300 comments from Golden locals, the vast majority voicing their displeasure over the incident.
Grey said that she originally made the post to let people know that this isn’t the kind of image Golden wants to convey, as a tourist location for many Albertans.
“My biggest message is that you want to treat others like you would want to be treated yourself, that is the Golden Rule,” said Grey.
“Golden is a tourism destination and when the restrictions are lifted we want visitors to come back. We don’t want to be remembered in a negative way.”
“Right now maybe isn’t the time to come here, but there will be a time where we want them to feel comfortable and happy to visit Golden,” said Brown.
The videos can be found online through Tourism Golden’s various channels.