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.

February 5, 2021 Update:

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, BC’s public health officials have strongly recommended that all social and recreational travel be avoided in British Columbia until further notice. This means all non-essential travel into, out of and within British Columbia should be postponed until the travel advisory is lifted. BC’s travel advisory, along with other province-wide restrictions, will be revisited at the end of February. More information about the Province’s travel advisory is available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.

#SkiBCStrong: Let’s Be The Reason To Keep The Season

COVID-19 has been present in ski communities around BC, including Whistler. We don’t want to see locals in the ICU or lose the ski season. We must all do our part to keep everyone healthy and safe. Visit skibcstrong.ca to learn more and for resources to help you have this important conversation with your employees, colleagues, friends and housemates.

Preventing the transmission of COVID-19 protects health, jobs, communities, and the ability to play outdoors on the slopes. View the press release announcing the education campaign to reduce COVID-19 transmission in ski communities here and review a presentation about the campaign from the Canada West Ski Areas Association here.


BC's Restart Plan

BC's Restart Plan

Note: The phased approach to BC’s Restart Plan is on pause for the duration of the province-wide restrictions.

On May 6, 2020, 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 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.

COVID-19 Guidance and Best Practice Protocols for Businesses

Whistler’s Guidelines for a Safe Restart

It is critical that all Whistler businesses take a proactive approach to ensuring all required COVID-19 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 their COVID-19 Safety Plan on their website (if you have a website) and at the workplace so that it is readily available for review by workers and members of the public.

It is critical all Whistler businesses keep their COVID-19 safety plans up to date and strictly enforced. Resources are available through WorkSafeBC and go2HR to assist in keeping your workplace safe and your plans up to date. Visit the Whistler Chamber of Commerce’s website for more details.

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. This includes information and protocols 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:

  • To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, BC’s public health officials have strongly recommended that all social and recreational travel be avoided in British Columbia until further notice. This means all non-essential travel into, out of and within British Columbia should be postponed until the travel advisory is lifted. More information about the Province’s travel advisory is available on the Government of British Columbia’s website.

  • Support Local: Like you, we hear the call of adventure, but now is not the time for personal, non-essential travel. We are staying local and exploring with care to keep everyone safe until the travel advisory for British Columbia is lifted. We look forward to welcoming you back to Whistler soon, so keep dreaming and planning for tomorrow.

  • Dr. Bonnie Henry has stated day trips to Whistler for skiing from the surrounding local areas is ok, as long as COVID-19 safety protocols are strictly adhered to. Review Whistler’s guidelines for a safe and responsible visit at whistler.com/covid.

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

  • Let’s work together to Be the Reason We Keep the Season. Learn more at skibcstrong.ca.

  • To review best practices for low risk recreation this winter season, visit skiwellbewell.ca.

View additional recommended key messaging from Destination BC here.

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.

View presentations from past Member Check-In Meetings 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 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.

You may also have noticed new signage throughout the resort encouraging residents and visitors alike to wear masks in Whistler. View the posters here and please help spread the word through your channels.

COVID-19 Workplace Screening

Tourism Whistler is offering its members a digital solution to Worksafe BC’s requirement for daily workplace screenings. The digital solution includes a link and QR code (for posting at your workplace) which directs employees to a COVID-19 screening questionnaire, and regular reports to keep track of all completed screenings.

How it works:

  • Upon completion of the screening questionnaire employees will receive either:
    • A green (✓) with a notice they are cleared to enter the workplace.
    • A red (x) and a message they are not cleared to enter the workplace and to connect with their manager or supervisor.
  • You will receive an automatic notification for any unsuccessful screenings.
  • You will receive daily or weekly (your choice) reports of all completed screenings.

If you would like to have access to this tool, please complete this form: Workplace Screening Tool Signup

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

COVID-19 Response in Whistler

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Whistler Chamber of Commerce have worked collaboratively to manage efforts and communications related to COVID-19 response and recovery in Whistler. A full report outlining the community’s coordinated response to date is now available here.

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.

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.

The Whistler Visitor Centre remains closed due to the non-essential travel advisory in British Columbia. Whistler.com agents remain available to answer questions via the Ask Whistler mobile chat service.

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 is now open for winter operations with enhanced safety protocols in place. Guests are required to wear face coverings to access the mountains and a new reservation system has been implemented to manage capacity limits. Passholders have priority access to reservations but lift tickets can be purchased online if capacity is available (please note: lift tickets are available online only and will not be available for purchase at ticket windows). Additional details about Whistler Blackcomb’s winter operating plan are outlined here.

With the new mandatory reservation system in place to help manage capacity on mountain, there is the possibility that during peak and high demand days, the resort may reach capacity and reservations will not be available for guests in resort. In that event, Tourism Whistler has prepared a Non-Ski Winter Activities & Experiences Flatsheet to help front line staff engage with these guests and to assist them in finding alternative winter activities and experiences to enjoy during their time in Whistler.

BC Parks

Please encourage visitors to consult the BC Parks website for information regarding provincial parks in the Whistler area, including COVID-19 updates and operational statuses. Please note, some provincial parks and recreation sites that attract large crowds, including Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, remain closed.

Help promote responsible recreation in our BC Parks using the BC Parks Responsible Recreation Messages Guide.

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

February 5 Update: As BC’s public health officials have recommended all social and recreational travel be avoided in British Columbia until further notice, Tourism Whistler has paused all short-term paid advertising campaigns. In the meantime, we will continue to share Whistler content through our owned channels (social media, email, blog) and we have launched another wave of our Support Local campaign to help support local businesses.

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.

Tourism Whistler launched our BC Summer Recovery campaign on June 25, 2020 in alignment with British Columbia transitioning to Phase 3 of the province’s BC’s Restart Plan and provincial health authorities lifting their recommendation against non-essential travel. Our goal was to ensure our return to tourism was managed safely and carefully, balancing the needs of our guests, businesses, residents and the environment. With this in mind, our BC Summer Recovery marketing campaign redefined what in means to Adventure Differently in a COVID-19 world, and sought to ensure our guests felt invited and secure in returning to Whistler, but asked them to do so thoughtfully and mindfully. More information about our BC Summer Recovery Campaign is available on the Campaign Toolkits section of the member website.

Heading into the quieter fall period, Tourism Whistler worked with resort partners and Members on a number of exciting initiatives to help drive visitation and support the local economy. Highlights included the promotion of Fall Dining Offers supported by a $25 Dining Voucher program at participating restaurants, Whistler Village Craft Beer Month in October, Whistler Wine Walks every Friday throughout October, Turkey Sidewalk Sales and the promotion of Fall Shopping Deals. All of these fall initiatives were supported by Tourism Whistler marketing & sales efforts, including a new Support Local campaign designed to support local businesses by encouraging local residents to get out and shop and dine locally. Tourism Whistler also launched a BC Fall Campaign, an Arts, Culture & Heritage Campaign, and a Bike Campaign. Additional details are available in the Fall Campaign Toolkit section of the member website.

Tourism Whistler’s Winter 2020/21 marketing campaigns planned to leverage insights gathered from our Place Branding research and were going to centre around the creative concept: Thrill Runs Deep. View the press release announcing Tourism Whistler’s new brand creative here. We planned to focus our winter campaigns on regional-BC leisure travellers and our domestic Canada markets, but our efforts were paused when the BC Government implemented a non-essential travel advisory in the province in early November. Since then, our focus has been on sharing inspirational Whistler content through our owned channels (social media, email, blogs, etc.) to keep our followers engaged with the Whistler brand and dreaming of future travel when the time is right. We also launched a signature WinterScape Contest (prize redeemable in Winter 2021/22) to keep our key markets engaged and grow our email subscribers for future promotion, and executed additional waves of our Support Local campaign to help local businesses during these challenging times. View the Winter Campaign Toolkit for a full overview of Tourism Whistler’s winter brand and tactical campaigns.

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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