Dear Team Richmond,
As you have no doubt seen, the B.C. government has rolled out a four-step restart plan focused on bringing us back together. Step 2 of the plan, which can happen as early as June 15 if specific vaccination and case numbers are reached, will result in the provincial travel restrictions being lifted. I am confident that we will be able to reach this milestone soon, and resume travels within our province and once again welcome visitors.
Let’s continue to support our industry by dining out at restaurants, shopping at local boutiques, and exploring attractions—there’s a lot of hidden gems in and around our community. For instance, Paulik Park, known as “Richmond’s secret garden”, is one of the city’s best hidden gem public gardens and a great place to reconnect with nature. Also, the historic Branscombe House, located along the Railway Greenway trail, blends beautifully into the residential neighbourhoods in Richmond.
Tourism Richmond is committed to supporting the community now and in the coming months and here are a few examples of our hard work:
Patio Enhancement Program
The restrictions announced in mid-March saw the halt of indoor dining, and a lot of restaurants had to pivot once again. Patios have been immensely popular as people are looking for safe outdoor dining options. As a result, we launched the Patio Enhancement Program in late May to offer grants to restaurants to create or enhance their patio space.
The Patio Enhancement Program was made available to Richmond restaurants who have incurred additional costs to upgrade, enhance an existing patio, or to establish a new temporary patio. We had 25 x $1,000 grants that were available on a first come, first serve basis. In less than one week, we have received 25 applications from a variety of different restaurants in Richmond. This is great news for our industry as we prepare to reopen to more people in the summer.
Pop-Up Picnic Areas
Richmond is well known for its culinary scene; people travel here just to eat, and our residents love to eat! During the pandemic, restaurants have been hard hit with fewer people wanting to dine indoors, and restaurant capacity has been cut to allow for physical distancing.
Grabbing takeout and eating outdoors with your ‘bubble’ has been a safe and desirable activity during the pandemic. Pacific. Authentic. Pop-up Picnic Areas will be a welcome addition to the urban environment, giving residents and visitors an inviting place to safely dine outside close to restaurants. 2021 will be a pilot year for this project, and if successful Pacific. Authentic. Pop-up Picnic Areas will return in 2022 and in following years.
The Pop-Up Picnic Areas will be available for the public to enjoy starting Canada Day long weekend until Labour Day. There will be five locations in Central Richmond and Steveston Village, including at Aberdeen Centre and Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. Each location will feature a picnic table designed and painted by a local artist. I invite you to enjoy a couple of meals at our picnic areas this summer. For the latest updates, please click here.
We will soon launch our #RichmondBCEats campaign to encourage residents to support our local restaurants and eateries. In the past couple months, we have actively promoted our Discovery Passport takeout deals on partner channels, such as Richmond News and Destination BC. To continue the momentum, the #RichmondBCEats campaign will incentivize people to snap a picture of their picnic, takeout, or dining experience for a chance to win gift cards to Richmond restaurants.
This campaign will include paid and organic social media posts, influencer marketing, newsletter inclusions, and a dedicated landing page. Let’s make it a goal for those in Richmond to dine out and show our continued support to our restaurants.
This summer looks promising, and we have a lot planned for both visitors and residents. To prepare for a safe reopening of our visitor economy, it is important for everyone to register for their vaccines and get vaccinated. Together, we can get to the other side of the pandemic and resume normal life again.
As always, I welcome feedback, comments, and questions – my door is always open.
We look forward to more positivity and good news in the coming months. I welcome any feedback, comments and questions – my door is always open.
Feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Tourism Richmond Team Member
Chief Executive Officer