While tourism is usually focused on bringing money and visitors in from other places, many Saskatchewan communities have been forced to look inward to try and invigorate the industry.

Tourism organizations across the province are finding creative ways to promote local businesses and activities in their own communities.

"It's unprecedented times," said Ashley Stone, director of Destination & Tourism Regina

Tourism Regina said right now it is focused on how to keep its businesses afloat. It said when the tourism industry rebounds, it needs to ensure Regina has the services to support the industry.

"We are doing everything we can to make sure that we are positioned that when things do open up that we are ready," Stone said. "We'll just have to take it day by day and really be aware of the restrictions to make sure we're safe."

Tourism Saskatchewan said there is no way of knowing when the tourism industry will recover. It estimates the industry lost $1 billion in 2020.

"It's devastating for a lot of businesses and attractions out there," said Jonathan Potts, executive director of marketing and communications for Tourism Saskatchewan. "They're all doing what they can to make it through."

HERE'S HOW COMMUNITIES ARE PROMOTING TOURISM:

REGINA

Tourism Regina is running two campaigns right now to promote tourism in the city. 

One of the campaigns is focused on encouraging people to participate in winter activities and sharing their ideas on social media. 

The second campaign is called "You Gotta Try This," it aims to promote local cuisine in Regina.

This campaign features dishes from local restaurants such as The Cure, Circa 27, Dandy's Artisan Ice Cream and more.

Tourism Regina said the pandemic has forced its organization to change its focus to promoting the city to its residents.

"We want our locals to love Regina even more," Stone said. "Then they'll tell their friends and family to come and visit once we are able to travel again, and then it will just start to ripple from there."

SASKATOON

Tourism Saskatoon is also focused on promoting winter activities within the city.

It has released a clever commercial about why people don't need to go to the mountains to have fun.

"Oh, just because we don't have mountains? Because mountains means skiing and skiing means après-ski," the commercial said.

It goes on to promote other activities people can do.

"We have après-ski, too. What about après-sledding?" 

Tourism Saskatoon said right now it wants to encourage residents to embrace activities in their own community.

"We want the people of Saskatchewan to know that there are opportunities," said Sarah Berger, director of marketing and communications for Tourism Saskatoon. "You might not be going to the mountains to go skiing or going south to a hot destination, but it really is for people of Saskatchewan to learn something new about our province." 

MOOSE JAW

Moose Jaw is hoping to capitalize on local tourism through a new advertisement poking fun at Canadian politicians who caught heat for traveling internationally over the holidays.

Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie appears in the ad at the city’s Temple Garden’s Hotel and Spa pool, with a tongue-in-cheek tip for other elected officials. READ MORE