Midnight Musings from our CEO
Last week the Province of British Columbia has had to once again take the step of declaring a Provincial State of Emergency as upwards of 570 wildfires now burning across the province
As we move quickly toward the end of the summer season not surprisingly we have been met by hot, dry conditions, several serious dry lightning events and antagonizing winds. The result has been not only significant numbers of regional wildfires but unprecedented smoke that has cover much of Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
In early July we at TOTA enacted our own Emergency Plans our team has been in direct daily contact with the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centres in our Region as well as communicating with the Regional Districts, BC Wildfire, Destination BC, Community DMOs, and the Province.
We understand these circumstances can bring negative media attention, we encourage you to remain accurate in your messaging, and to use clear, and up-to-date information from official sources only. We also will continue to work with all of you on reposting your real time photos through our extensive social media network utilizing “#realtime” and will continue to send regular emails with updates as they become available.
It is important that all of our industry and industry partners ensure our messaging is honest and accurate. We will continue to focus on “being open for business”, ensuring those areas that are unaffected are highlighted and providing information on the many activities to enjoy throughout the entire Thompson Okanagan.
The smoke will dissipate and the fires will come to an end and we will have our beautiful and scenic region back to enjoy for both residents and visitors. Plans are currently underway to develop strong fall messaging inviting and inspiring guests to come back and experience all that the Fall and Winter offers in the Thompson Okanagan.
In the interim, please continue to monitor all of the sites available for up to the minute information.
- The BC Wildfire Service has set up an interactive map of all active wildfires across the province. They also release the latest wildfire information on their Facebook and Twitter
- Emergency Info BC has a provincial Twitter account with up-to-date information about current wildfires and other emergencies in BC.
- Drive BC provides information about road closures and delays, posting updates on Twitter and website.
- Environment Canada is the resource for latest weather information, statements, and air quality advisories.
- The provincial website has up-to-date information about fire bans and restrictions throughout the region.
- For a map of all affected properties in the Central Okanagan, visit CORD’s website.
- Evacuees can register with the Red Cross by going to redcross.ca/gethelp or by calling 1-800-863-6582
- To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cell phone.
The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association would like to extend our support to the communities and industry in this time of need. Please let us know how you are doing, what you need, and how we may be able to assist.
We are a resilient industry and we know how to work together to ensure that our businesses large and small can survive and thrive through the challenges that are presented along the way.
Continue to focus on providing the best experiences you can to our visitors and stay safe.
A Few Highlights from this Week’s News Centre…
There is less than 2 weeks until we gather for this year’s Annual TOTA Golf Tournament and it is almost sold out. Don’t miss this special event which we think will be better than ever. August 30th Black Mountain – Register Here; outstanding news for our region as Air Canada announces the return of the direct flight; Kamloops – Toronto for summer 2019 based on this years successful numbers (read more); We all want to better understand what motivates our travellers to book and Trip Advisor has presented some insightful information (read more)
Read all of this week’s News Centre stories at news.totabc.org
Keep following and contributing to TOTA’s Facebook and Twitter sites throughout the week; send us your stories, photos, events and remarkable experiences. Make sure the industry knows what is happening around our region. Be sure to use #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories.