Wave of tourists from Lower Mainland helped sustain Penticton last summer

Tourists came from BC

Thanks to BC residents and an increase of travellers from the Vancouver/Lower Mainland region this summer, Penticton businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector faced softened revenue challenges, according to the latest Hospitality Business Impact survey results. 

“This survey provides a snapshot of the current situation faced by this sector of our business community. This will help the City and our organizational partners gauge how to provide the appropriate support moving forward,” Blake Laven, City of Penticton director of development services.

“The results also underscore the importance of locals continuing to support our retail and hospitality businesses as the impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt.”

A survey built from Travel Penticton, the Downtown Penticton Association, the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and the City of Penticton worked to provide an update on the impact of COVID-19. Results showed that in the 155 hospitality/tourism businesses who participated, 75 per cent faced decreased revenues in May. But Summer revenue, from June to September, improved slightly, and was better than expected for 45 per cent of participants in the survey. 

Even with businesses facing struggles with closures due to COVID in spring, 79 per cent of participants do not anticipate having to close their business in the next year. But 71 per cent stated they will need local support to help businesses in the coming months.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and we will use these results to determine where businesses stand and how we can provide better support for our members going forward,” said Lynn Allin, executive director of Downtown Penticton Association.

The overwhelming majority of visitors this summer (88 per cent) were from throughout B.C., with 73 percent from Vancouver/Lower Mainland, according to the report. 

“We’ve been seeing visitors from the Vancouver area who say they have returned to Penticton after many years, or who are visiting here for the first time,” said Thom Tischik, executive director of Travel Penticton.

“And yet, it’s clear that our struggles are long from over. These results will steer our strategic planning and targeted marketing initiatives moving forward.” 

The partners plan to continue to promote Penticton’s Love Local campaign and work on initiatives that support local small businesses. 

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