Tourism Golden is gearing up for summer with a new campaign aimed at locals to help residents potentially welcome back guests to the community in the hope COVID restrictions will be eased.
While Premier John Horgan and provincial heath officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will update the province’s COVID strategy next week, Andy Brown of Tourism Golden remains cautiously optimistic that B.C. has turned a corner as case counts drop and the vaccination rates keep rising.
“We don’t know what summer is going to look like just yet, it really does depend on restrictions, but we’re optimistic it’s going to look more like 2019 than 2020,” said Brown.
“We’ve had to navigate through a lot of things we didn’t foresee this last year so we want to put a spotlight on the value of tourism.”
Tourism Golden is promoting vaccination in Golden to hopefully alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the summer and will be giving away $20 gift cards to local restaurants and cafes for those who get vaccinated.
Until May 21, share your vaccine selfie or a picture on Instagram or Facebook with a one-liner about why you got vaccinated. Include the #ThisIsOurShotGolden and tag @TourismGolden for a chance to win.
“It’s really important if we want to welcome people to our community and we want to keep everyone safe,” said Brown.
“The quicker that everyone gets vaccinated and the higher percentage makes our whole community safer and that’s a good thing.”
Tourism Golden will also launch a new video, aimed at explaining what it is that Tourism Golden does and the importance of tourism to the town and area’s economy.
“Historically, we haven’t targeted locals, because they already live here and they know how great it is,” said Brown.
“But we’ve gone through a historical time period of asking people not to travel here.
“We’re approaching a date where that hopefully won’t be the case anymore, to shift back to the way it was before.
“We want to bring to life the value of tourism and the role it plays in our community.”
The video features interviews from local stakeholders that explain the value of tourism to the community.
Tourism allows Golden to have a three-pronged diverse economy, with forestry, CP rail and tourism making for a vibrant community, the video explains.
Tourism Golden is the destination marketing organization that represents Golden and surrounding area, working to promote the area as a place for tourists to come and explore.
Brown says over the last 14 months, he’s come to appreciate Golden and how lucky he is to be here.
He hopes he can help share that feeling with locals and tourists alike this summer.
“Everything I love to do is at my doorstep, we’re so lucky to live in this area where people come to spend their weekend or week on a vacation to do the things we can do on a regular basis,” said Brown.
“As we get closer and closer to the time that people can come back to our community without going against travel restrictions, we’re gonna see more and more people coming back and that’s a good thing.”