Deals for locals: B.C. tourist attractions pivot to survive COVID summer
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. -- With few international tourists expected in B.C. this summer, attractions that normally rely on out-of-town visitors are having to pivot to locals.
“We are really going to sell an amazing, British Columbian, come out into your backyard,” said Stacy Chala, of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
While 75 per cent of the park’s summertime visitors are typically tourists, this year, it’s hoping to attract Metro Vancouverites with a $109 pass for families of four.
“So they can come as many times as they like this summer and (for) Canyon Lights at Christmas time,” said Chala. “It has been a really tough time for British Columbians these last few months, so we figured that a nice pricing special for families was important this year.”
The Vancouver Art Gallery is opening on Monday, June 15, at regular pricing, but it’s prepared to re-examine that if locals don’t visit.
“We are hoping that people in Vancouver and across British Columbia will come to the gallery for a stay-at-home vacation,” said gallery spokesperson Anne Webb. “It’s a great opportunity to discover your own city, and we’re hoping people will take advantage of what is a very difficult situation but will have some positive outcomes.”
The Museum of Vancouver reopened its doors on Thursday, and is also counting on locals visiting this summer.
“While we enjoy having tourists and it’s part of telling the story of Vancouver, we know there are a lot of Vancouverties who haven’t explored the museum,” said museum CEO Mauro Vescera. “Over the summer, we’re hoping people will take opportunity to rediscover the city and it’s history.”
Tourism Vancouver has launched the “Vancouver Comeback” campaign to inspire locals to play tourist in their own backyards.
“We can’t go anywhere outside of B.C. at this time, so why not enjoy some time in the city?” said Candace Gibson, of Tourism Vancouver. “This campaign is way for us to encourage people to take those baby steps into the community and start to show some love to our local attractions and restaurants and hotels as well.”
While all local attractions have started to pivot to locals, it’s hard to know how successful that will be.
“We have no projections,” said Chala. “We are just going to see how it goes.”