Local hiking guide Jocelyn McDonald's story of running her business during the pandemic was featured at the B.C. Tourism and Hospitality Conference yesterday. Anthony Everett, chair of the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS), told stories of resilience — including McDonald's — during his session at the virtual conference on March 8.
McDonald, who guides hikes in the North Rockies, utilized the B.C. Tourism Resiliency Network last year when dealing with the pandemic. She faced limited cancellations when COVID-19 first emerged, according to a release, but was affected more as travel was discouraged, and is hopeful she'll be in a good position to hit the ground running if restrictions are loosened this summer.
“The support I have received has been amazing, they have gone out of their way to help develop a personal business strategy that addresses my needs, helped me develop a digital marketing plan, and facilitated a small business grant that has provided me with some flexibility,” McDonald said in the release.
"When people receive the all-clear to travel, I expect they are going to want to get outdoors and enjoy a wonderful wildlife experience, and I am going to be ready to provide just that."
The BCRTS created the Tourism Resilience Network at the start of the pandemic in 2020 to help support tourism operators throughout the province. Operators can receive support through a group of experts on issues regarding strategic planning, health and safety, and digital marketing, to name a few.
“The pandemic has presented tourism operators with unprecedented challenges, but seeing how the BC Tourism Resiliency Network is assisting people like Joceyln, demonstrates the value and need for it to continue and support as many businesses as possible,” said the association's CEO Clint Fraser.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.