The B.C. government launched an educational campaign for ski communities as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on: “Be the reason we all have a ski season.”
It was created in response to virus transmission in shared accommodation and socializing in ski communities such as Revelstoke.
Before Nov. 1, 2020, Revelstoke only saw three residents test positive for COVID-19, but by the end of that month until the end of January 160 people had tested positive and an additional 19 so far in February.
The campaign promotes:
- enhanced communication to employees
- education for eliminating social gatherings in shared housing and short-term accommodation
- employers assisting with contact tracing
- reinforcing quarantine and self-isolation accommodation information and protocols for people working and living in ski communities
Since the start of the pandemic working groups in Revelstoke, Whistler, Sun Peaks, Rossland, Invermere and Fernie have had focused on preventing COVID-19 transmission.
“Whistler doesn’t have an economy if we do not overcome COVID-19 transmission within our community. That’s why it is so important each of us to be conscious about not participating in situations where COVID-19 spreads. Take a COVID-19 rain cheque on après with friends,” stated Jack Crompton, mayor of Whistler, in a news release.
The educational campaign is launched in partnership between the working groups as well as the ministries of tourism, health and municipal affairs, work B.C. and the Canada West Ski Areas Association.
There are 37 ski areas in B.C., most of which are community-based and primarily serve rural communities. Of the 37 there are 13 ski areas considered destination ski areas, and many of these are the primary employer and key economic driver within the region.
In B.C., the ski industry is a significant contributor to the provincial economy through $2 billion in expenditures annually and over 21,000 jobs.