It’s an understatement to say that this year’s challenges are many and still overwhelming. Everyone is exhausted: physically and emotionally. And we want to document your experiences while they’re fresh in your mind. There has been too much online business and too many surveys. But this one is just about us: those working in the Southern Gulf Islands on Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Salt Spring or Saturna. This is important.
The Survey for our Travel Industry Employers and Employees
Please take 5 minutes to click this link to share your wisdom. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SGITourismWorkforce
If online surveys are not your thing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-537-7087 to set up an appointment for a telephone interview.
What We Are Doing With This Survey
- We want to capture some of the issues that tourism and hospitality businesses and staff faced this year before fall moves into winter and we get caught in new and different chapters of this pandemic challenge. So, timing is important.
- We will leave the survey open until October 30.
- We will align future community destination management (CDMO) work in direct response to the survey responses.
- We are compiling a report to the Province about the unique circumstances we faced in an effort to enlighten the conversation and advance discussions.
- We know that there have been efforts by bigger organizations to report on specific pandemic impacts. However, our unique Southern Gulf Island experiences and circumstances are not revealed in broader regional and provincial reports. This is about the pandemic impact and more as we work to sustain a local visitor economy.
Why this is a Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Project
The Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership (SGITPS) is a Community-driven Destination Management Organization (CDMO). More on our purpose here. We are a registered not-for-profit society and our mandate is driven by:
- Local community stakeholders who rely on the visitor economy and
- Destination BC who approves SGITPS’s strategies in return for funding.
We manage our communities’ as a destination for environmental, social, and economic reasons. This includes supporting the local tourism and hospitality industry to sustain jobs and services for residents, especially beyond the summer months. This year, that also includes efforts to recover local jobs lost due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Four Ways We Think This Will Help Now
This initiative is a response to the findings of the Labour Market Study we completed in late 2019 to early 2020 in addition to what we are now experiencing with COVID-19.
- We anticipate finding better ways to fill the communication gaps between labour supply and demand by creating a better identity for the local tourism industry.
- A stronger SGI tourism identity will serve as a tool to assist employers in filling their staffing requirements.
- The tools created through this project will support marketing efforts to drive off-season travel to the Southern Gulf Islands therefore addressing unique labour market challenges faced by seasonal rural tourism operations.
- Implementation of this tactic will help reduce the workforce challenges encountered by our seasonal rural employers.
- This project strengthens the alignment between labour market development and destination development, management and marketing at the provincial, regional and community levels.
Five Anticipated Long-term Outcomes of the Project
This project is a small piece of our much loftier aspirations of transforming our local visitor economy on the Southern Gulf Islands into a fully regenerative effort (much more of that in upcoming posts). Here are five early thoughts about where that path is headed:
- Broad recognition of Southern Gulf Islands Tourism as a place to invest in the regenerative tourism industry
- Growing awareness and support for the Southern Gulf Islands as a place for local youth to build a meaningful career in hospitality.
- A coordinated network of tourism industry employers and a related forum for tourism workforce support.
- Increasing proportions of visitors to the Southern Gulf Islands who meet the demographic seeking genuine regenerative travel
- Growth in off-season travel to create longer terms of work for qualified hospitality staff