Tourism in Penticton won’t be back to normal for years to come.
Destination Canada estimates it will take four to five years, while Travel Penticton executive director Thom Tischik told council that he is expecting Penticton to take two to three years to get back to 2019 levels.
“Hopefully things do go that way, and we’re not at the four to five situation. We fared much better than other areas, but we still need to think this is long-term.”
The Municipal and Regional Tax revenue, which is taken from hotel stays and other short-term accommodations, fell by 20 per cent compared to 2019.
Penticton survived the year better than some other communities; hotel revenue in the Thompson Okanagan falling by 31 per cent in 2020 compared to a drop of 71 per cent across Canada.
Kamloops’ occupancy rates for 2020 ended 36.7 per cent below their average, Kelowna 34.1 per cent, Greater Vancouver 54.1 per cent and Whistler 39.5 per cent below their yearly averages.
“I have to say I was a little pessimistic that we were going to be devastated, and actually I think we did fairly well,” said Tischik.
The Visit Penticton website saw an increase in traffic over 2020, which was a promising sign for the year and the future.
The plan for the future is to work with the city, local airport, events, and other groups in the area to promote Penticton to the rest of B.C. and to Canada.
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