An influx of visitors from the Vancouver/Lower Mainland region this summer helped to temporarily soften revenue challenges facing Penticton’s hospitality/tourism businesses, according to the latest Hospitality Business Impact Survey results.
“This survey provides a snapshot of the current situation faced by this sector of our business community. This will help the City and our organizational partners gauge how to provide the appropriate supports moving forward,” said Penticton’s Director of Development Services, Blake Laven. “The results also underscore the importance of locals continuing to support our retail and hospitality businesses as the impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt.”
Travel Penticton, the Downtown Penticton Association, the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and the City of Penticton partnered on the survey for an update on the impact of COVID-19. Of the 155 hospitality/tourism businesses who participated, 75 percent faced decreased revenues in May. Summer revenue (June to September) improved somewhat, proving better than anticipated for 45 percent of participants.
Despite a difficult spring, 79 percent of participants do not anticipate having to close their business in the next year. However, 71 percent stated they will be relying on residents to maintain their businesses in next six months.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and we will use these results to determine where businesses stand and how we can provide better support for our members going forward,” said Lynn Allin, Executive Director of Downtown Penticton Association.
According to the results, the overwhelming majority of visitors (88 percent) were from throughout B.C., with 73 percent from Vancouver/Lower Mainland.
“We’ve been seeing visitors from the Vancouver area who say they have returned to Penticton after many years, or who are visiting here for the first time,” said Thom Tischik, Executive Director of Travel Penticton. “And yet, it’s clear that our struggles are long from over. These results will steer our strategic planning and targeted marketing initiatives moving forward.”
The partners will continue to promote Penticton’s Love Local campaign and encourage initiatives that support local small businesses.
“Now we can take stock of what we’ve been through and find ways to provide ongoing support for our members in the months ahead,” said Diane Kereluk, Executive Director of the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.
Complete results are available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.