Member Services

COVID-19 Information & Resources for Members

Tourism Whistler is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation closely. We are staying in close contact with our resort and industry partners, and we are committed to keeping our membership informed as the situation evolves.

BC's Restart Plan

On May 6, the provincial government released BC’s Restart Plan, which outlines a phased approach for gradually re-opening the BC economy. We are currently in Phase 3 of the plan.

Phase 2 began on May 19 during which time the province saw activities resume in areas such as retail, personal service establishments, restaurants, cafes and pubs, museums and art galleries, as well as parks, beaches and outdoor recreation.

The province transitioned to Phase 3 on June 24, where provincial health authorities approved the reopening of hotels and resorts, and the return of recreational travel.

Phase 4 will not begin until the threat of COVID-19 has been significantly diminished through widespread vaccination, broad successful treatments, evidence of community immunity, or the equivalent.

For more information about BC’s Restart Plan, visit www.gov.bc.ca/restartbc.

Reopening Guidance and Best Practice Protocols

Whistler’s Guidelines for a Safe Restart

British Columbia has transitioned to Phase 3 of its Restart Plan and provincial health authorities have lifted their advisory against non-essential personal travel. It is critical that all Whistler businesses take a proactive approach to ensuring all required safety protocols are in place to manage risk – both for the community and visitors alike.

The Provincial Health Officer has ordered specific practices to be implemented and these orders must be followed. Guidance has also been provided for specific industry sectors. It is important to note that the Provincial Health Officer has ordered that all employers must post a copy of your COVID-19 Safety Plan on their website, if they have a website, and at the workplace so that it is readily available for review by workers, other persons who may attend at the workplace to provide services, and members of the public.

Our community’s recovery relies on each of us doing our part.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has taken the lead on collecting and communicating general COVID-19 guidance and best practices for all Whistler businesses to follow as they plan to resume operation. This includes information and restart plans created by government officials and various sector associations.

All Members are encouraged to review the COVID-19 business best practices resources available on the RMOW’s website, including a one page reference sheet for all Whistler businesses.

More information is available at whistler.ca/SafeRestart.

Recommended Key Messaging

At this time, Tourism Whistler recommends the following key messaging:

  • Now that British Columbia has transitioned to Phase 3 of the province’s Restart Plan, Whistler is excited to welcome visitors back to the resort.

  • Whistler is committed to upholding the highest standards in health and safety to protect our visitors, staff and our community. This means local businesses and experiences will be operating with new guidelines and safety protocols in place.

  • Now more than ever, it will be important to plan ahead and know before you go. Visit the Whistler Doors Open Directory to for up-to-date information about what is open in Whistler and the Whistler Insider blog for tips to help with trip planning.

  • While many restaurants, pubs and cafes are open, capacity will be limited so visitors should make reservations, or consider dining during non-peak times. Grabbing takeout is another great option.

  • We ask all visitors to be patient and understanding, and to explore Whistler responsibly and mindfully. Learn about the guidelines and changes we are asking of everyone who spends time in Whistler at whistler.com/summer.

  • Remember, COVID-19 is not on vacation. Brush up on your Travel Manners before arriving in Whistler here.

  • With so much to do in Whistler, visitors are invited to extend their stay and to try visiting midweek when the resort is typically quieter and good value on accommodation can be found. Whistler vacation deals and packages are available here.

  • If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been in contact with a known case, we ask that you please postpone your visit. We also ask visitors to continue following the recommendations of health authorities to keep themselves and others safe while in Whistler, including physical distancing and frequent hand washing.

  • Information and resources for travellers is available at whistler.com/covid.

Visit Destination BC’s website for additional messaging guidance for tourism stakeholders in the province.


Member Check-In Meetings — Monthly

This monthly Member meeting provides a forum for Tourism Whistler’s commercial members to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 in Whistler, including resort performance forecasts, research insights, and Tourism Whistler’s response and recovery efforts. — RSVP here

Additional Resources for Members

Destination BC has created a hub of information for tourism stakeholders across the province, including industry resources like the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains (VCM) Tourism Resiliency Program, government support and FAQs. Learn more here.

The RMOW has compiled an overview of all provincial and federal resources available to individuals and businesses during COVID-19. The document will be updated regularly as programs are announced and refined. View the RMOW’s Economic Resources Overview here.

The Whistler Chamber of Commerce has been sharing guidance and resources for Whistler business, including information on federal and provincial programs being put in place to support businesses, workers, and economic recovery.

Printable Resources & Signage

Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control both offer a number of helpful printable and shareable resources online.

  • Resort Municipality of Whistler physical distancing floor decals, posters and other printable resources can be found here under the Business Toolkit section.

  • Vancouver Coastal Health posters, handouts and other shareable resources available for use can be found here.

  • BC Centre for Disease Control posters, guides, factsheets, FAQs, infographics as well as links to other community resources in BC can be found here.

Tourism Whistler has also created a printable Whistler Visitor Information flatsheet for businesses to display featuring QR codes for the Whistler Doors Open Directory, Ask Whistler mobile chat, and easy access to maps of Whistler.

Lastly, Tourism Whistler and the RMOW have partnered to create a printable poster to promote Whistler’s new Travel Manners for visitors as outlined by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. View and download the poster here.

Government Response

National

For an overview on the national response to COVID-19, including travel advisories and Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, visit Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Canada’s Response.

Provincial

For an overview of the provincial response to COVID-19 including measures that have been put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus, and support available for British Columbians, visit the BC government’s COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information page.

Local

For information on Whistler’s community response to COVID-19, please visit the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s website

Information & Updates

Guest Information & Visitor Servicing

Tourism Whistler has created a guest-facing Know Before You Go: COVID-19 Information and Resources for Travellers page on whistler.com with local, provincial and federal updates. View the page at whistler.com/covid and please feel free to share this link through your channels.

Help remind visitors COVID-19 is not on vacation, even though they are. Encourage visitors to respect Whistler’s COVID-19 safety protocols and to brush up on their Travel Manners here.

We have also developed the Whistler Doors Open Directory to provide local residents and visitors with information about Tourism Whistler member businesses, including operational status, COVID-19 safety protocols and featured recovery promotions. Members can update their business information by completing the COVID-19 Member Information Form. If your operations or promotions change, you can resubmit the form at any time. Note: there is no need to put your hours of operation in the form as we pull those from Google My Business – please ensure your Google My Business listing is up to date.

Members are also encouraged to keep their Trip Advisor business listings up to date.

To help ensure we are inviting visitors back to Whistler in a thoughtful and coordinated way, we have created a 2-page COVID-19 Member Toolkit available for download here.

The Whistler Visitor Centre has reopened with enhanced safety protocols in place, which can be viewed here. The Visitor Centre will be open Thursday-Sunday from 9am to 5pm through the fall period. Guests can also call 1.800.944.7853 or use the Ask Whistler mobile chat service to speak with a Whistler.com agent who can answer questions and provide resort information.

The Front Line page on the member website has additional tools and resources for front line staff and conceriges who regularly interact with visitors.

Anyone with health questions or symptoms related to COVID-19 should use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool or call 8-1-1 to speak to a health care professional. Anyone in Whistler requiring non-emergent care can contact the Whistler Virtual Walk-In Clinic or call the Whistler Health Care Centre at 604.932.4911.

Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park are currently open for summer operations with enhanced safety protocols in place, including physical distancing and cashless transactions. All guests are required to wear face coverings when in lift lines, gondolas, and inside restaurants and retail locations. Guests are asked to bring their own face coverings to help Whistler Blackcomb reduce its environmental footprint. Face coverings can be a cloth mask, scarf or buff, as long as it covers your nose and mouth. More information is available on Whistler Blackcomb’s website.

Please note the last day of daily operations for the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is September 7. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will be open on weekends and holidays only from September 8 – 27, 2020. The last day of operations for the Whistler Mountain Bike Park is October 12. See Hours of Operations page for full details.

Whistler Blackcomb is scheduled to open for winter operations on November 26 with enhanced safety protocols in place. Guests will be required to wear face coverings to access the mountains and a new reservation system will be implemented to manage capacity limits. Priority access will be given to pass holders and lift tickets will not be available until December 8, at which point they can be purchased online only (i.e. guests will not be able to purchase lift tickets at the ticket window). Additional details about Whistler Blackcomb’s winter operating plan are outlined in this letter from Vail Resorts CEO, Rob Katz.

BC Parks

Many BC Parks and recreation sites and trails have reopened for day-use and for overnight camping. Some provincial parks and recreation sites that attract large crowds, including Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, remain closed. To review the operational status of all BC Parks go here (note: Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton are included in the South Coast region) and for a list of BC recreation site and trail closures go here.

Some BC Parks, including Garibaldi Provincial Park and the Stawamus Chief Park, require Day Use passes. Day Use passes are free and can be reserved online day of beginning at 6am. Learn more here.

Preferential access to provincial campgrounds and backcountry camping sites will be given to BC residents for the 2020 camping season. Reservations made by non-BC residents will be subject to cancellation. Details are available at discovercamping.ca.

Tourism Whistler’s Marketing Efforts in Response to COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Tourism Whistler has been focused on a three-phased approach to marketing in alignment with Destination BC’s direction – Response, Recovery, Re-Build.

After being in the Response phase since the middle of March, Tourism Whistler launched our Recovery campaign on June 25 in alignment with BC transitioning to Phase 3 of the province’s BC’s Restart Plan and provincial health authorities lifting their recommendation against non-essential travel. Our focus at first will be regional-BC leisure travellers, and will eventually grow to include national Canada as appropriate. US and international marketing plans are yet to be determined.

We want to ensure our return to tourism is managed safely and carefully, and balances supporting the needs of guests, businesses, residents and the environment. With this in mind, our BC Summer Recovery marketing campaign will redefine what in means to Adventure Differently in a COVID-19 world, and will ensure our guests feel invited and secure in returning to Whistler, but will ask them to do so thoughtfully and mindfully.

More information about our BC Summer, Recovery Campaign, including media plans, advertising opportunities for Members and shareable content, is now available on the Campaign Toolkits section of the member website.

For more of a deep dive into the Adventure Differently campaign concept in response to COVID-19, check out this blog post featuring an interview with Tourism Whistler’s President & CEO, Barrett Fisher.

We continue to ask all Members to tag your social media posts with #OnlyinWhistler and #AdventureDifferently so that we can share your images and stories through our channels, and email your content ideas to content@tourismwhistler.com.

Research Insights

Throughout the pandemic, the Tourism Whistler Research department has been focused on monitoring resort performance, industry trends and best practices, as well as forecasting and scenario planning to help with business recovery planning.

Additionally, the Research department has been conducting a series of studies with our Research Panel to monitor COVID-19 Sentiment and Travel Intentions. View the results of these studies, and insights that can be leveraged for business recovery planning, here.

View more reports and submit a data request by visiting the Research section of the member site.

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