Tourism Week (May 23-30, 2021) is a seven-day coast to coast to coast event organized nationally by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) to recognize Canada’s tourism economy, and the impact it has on every community across the country.
This year, Tourism Week looks very different from other years and the aim is to recognize the resilience of the industry through these unpresented times.
We caught up with Mimi from Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site to learn about the challenges they have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they have navigated through them.
Mimi from Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. | Photo: Tourism Richmond
What are some of the challenges your business faced during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The first challenge we experienced was the steep learning curve to ensure a safe site re-opening for both staff and visitors, after a brief initial closure. The greatest challenge since then has been the loss of visitation and revenue as we have been unable to offer public tours, school programs, and special events.
How did your team navigate/pivot through these challenges?
We learned from the various workshops and presentations by our local tourism and museum organizations on the topics of COVID, re-opening, safety procedures, and how to re-imagine our offer with all this in mind. Our team rallied together to think of ways to welcome guests back to our site and to present our stories in a safe but meaningful way. We were happy to be able to safely offer our Halloween "Once Upon a Haunted Sea" and winter "Festival of Trees", with the local community in mind.
What would you recommend a visitor to do in Richmond?
Discover the natural and scenic beauty of our many dyke trails and nature parks; take the time to try out the fantastic restaurants, bakeries, and sweet shops throughout the city; and explore the heritage of our multicultural communities at the historic sites in Steveston. And don't forget to shop while you're here - so many great stores and great finds!
How long have you worked in the tourism industry?
Over 30 years! Starting with summer jobs in Banff, Alberta
What do you like about working in tourism?
I love to travel and know the joy it brings me. To be a part of someone else's joy and adventure, and to have a part in making it memorable for them, makes it a very special industry to be in.
What are your tips for someone looking to work in tourism?
Go for it! There is such a wide variety of jobs in tourism, so don't limit your focus when looking for your "dream" position. Any experience you gain will be valuable in the end.
Take the Pledge
While there are still restrictions in place across the country, we know people will travel again. TIAC are asking Canadians this #TourismWeek, to take the pledge, and when you are able, plan and travel in Canada this year!
Download the "I Pledge to Travel in Canada" badge and make it your profile picture on social media, use it in your email signature, and help spread the word that Tourism Counts!