TWEPI Confident Local Tourism Industry Can Overcome Pandemic
There's no question COVID-19 has hammered the local tourism industry, but Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) is confident the region can emerge strong on the other side of the pandemic.
June is Tourism Month across Canada and TWEPI laid out its plans for 2021 and beyond at Essex County council Wednesday night.
CEO Gordon Orr says it's been a tough 15 months since the pandemic began, but efforts like Takeout Tuesday and Wine Order Wednesday have been quite successful.
"Tourism and hospitality was hit first, hit the hardest and will take the longest to recover," he says. "The loses and sacrifices businesses have faced are real, they're heartbreaking, but there are better days ahead. As the vaccine rollout continues to give those much needed shots in the arms, we're becoming more relieved, more hopeful."
Orr says there's plenty of behind-the-scenes work taking place to ensure the industry recovers.
"I've said it a number of times, we can hope for better days ahead, but we have to plan for better days ahead so those days are more hopeful," he adds. "This is what we've been doing at Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, planning in concert with our tourism stakeholders so we're ready to go as the provincial framework for reopening allows."
Local tourism is pushing forward and will continue to do so post-pandemic, according to Orr. "When we look back at the last 15 months, we do have to recognize what we've accomplished together because the resiliency of this industry has been nothing short of a miracle. Our organization shifted focus immediately at the onset of the pandemic to pivot our marketing to align with the direction of our tourism partners."
Orr says focus will remain on promoting staycations while also encouraging residents from other regions to make a road trip to Windsor-Essex.
TWEPI's 2021-2022 visitors guide can be found at visitwindsoressex.com.