This week is Tourism Week in Saskatchewan, but it’s a different feel this time around because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While many destinations or businesses have taken a hit from being closed or have been offering limited opportunities to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province, Tourism Saskatchewan says it’s even more important to celebrate tourism now more than ever.
“People are becoming aware of all the things they really enjoy and all the activities that can be impacted and are associated with tourism,” said Taylor-Ash, CEO of Tourism Saskatchewan.
This week, Tourism Saskatchewan is highlighting the economic impact tourism has on the province through their social media. The organization will be reaching out to the public through a series of videos on social media to share stories that discuss tourism in the province and community support during the pandemic.
Taylor-Ash said it’s an impact of over $2 billion total from visitor spending annually and employs 71,000 Saskatchewan residents.
COVID-19 may have an effect on the tourism sector in 2020, but Taylor-Ash doesn’t think it should completely limit what people do this year when it comes to planning activities they can enjoy while practicing physical distancing.
She also said this is a neat opportunity for residents to plan getaways once the pandemic is over.
“You may not be able to do certain things that you like to do, but you can start to explore virtually and start to make up that bucket list to get out and explore once more things reopen,” she suggested.
When discussing how much of an impact the pandemic will have on the province, Taylor-Ash admitted that Saskatchewan’s tourism sector is already experiencing serious setbacks and is facing a long road to recovery.
She said one way the public can help ease that recovery is by supporting local.
“This is the time to support your local tourism businesses because they really make the difference in communities when it comes to the quality of life,” added Taylor-Ash. “It makes the community stronger that way.”
Tourism Sask. is encouraging industry operators and residents to post videos and images of their experiences by using the hashtag #SKTourismWeek on their social media posts.