Ottawa Tourism

March 2020

Find out what’s new with Ottawa Tourism programs, members and people in this latest edition of the Ottawa Tourism Member Newsletter.

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COVID-19 UPDATE

Please be advised that Ottawa Tourism continues to stay informed and engaged with the situation regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the tourism industry in Ottawa and continues to communicate with members. Clearly, public health comes first, and—like all Canadians—Ottawa Tourism’s thoughts are with the people affected.

The COVID-19 circumstances for our tourism industry, as well as for all destinations worldwide, continue to unfold and change quickly. Ottawa Tourism has added an update section to our website to be in a position to share sources of information with our visitors as well as our members, and we continue to monitor the situation. As the province of Ontario has now declared an emergency, many of our member businesses will therefore be impacted with closures. 

You can monitor changes at the national (Canadian) level here: Government of Canada COVID-19 Outbreak Update To monitor the situation in Ottawa, you can visit: Ottawa Public Health.  We encourage you to refer to official government sources of information, such as those mentioned above, so you can make business decisions based on facts and science. We also encourage everyone to follow the protocols that have been announced (especially practicing social distancing and effective hand washing).

Members​hip

Members​hip

ADVOCATING FOR TOURISM

Ottawa Tourism continues to actively advocate for Ottawa’s tourism industry at municipal, provincial, and federal levels. We know that many member businesses need immediate financial assistance and we are working to make Ottawa’s tourism industry voice heard. Some ways in which we continue to advocate for the tourism industry include:

  • Regular contact with federal partners including the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Destination Canada, FedDev (our regional development agency), and other federal government partners;
  • Regular contact with provincial partners including Minister Lisa MacLeod, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Destination Ontario, and the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries;
  • Surveys circulated to our members on impacts of COVID-19 to their businesses, results of which will be shared with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario and Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries and will go into overall industry messages to be brought forward from the provincial level to the federal level;
  • Discussions with Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) to understand overall industry impacts;
  • Michael Crockatt will sit on the Mayor Jim Watson’s Economic Partners Task Force to discuss relief measures for local businesses and recovery plans.
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EMAILER HIATUS

As a result of closures and cancellations due to COVID-19, the popular emailer Things To Do in Ottawa This Weekend and its related web post will not be circulated.

Additionally, promotional opportunities for our member businesses and other non-essential marketing-related content will also be put on hiatus – all of which will resume once the situation has stabilized.

Travel Trade

Travel Trade

RENDEZ-VOUS CANADA CANCELLATION

In light of the situation regarding COVID-19, the decision has been made to cancel Rendez-vous Canada 2020, set to take place in Quebec City May 5-8, 2020. More details and a combined message to the industry from both Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada can be found on the RVC Event Update page.

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TIAO SURVEY REMINDER

As we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on businesses operating within the tourism industry, we encourage you to continue to share experiences with us. Ottawa Tourism, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario and other Regional Tourism Destinations across the province are joining in surveying tourism businesses, so that we may fully evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on their operations throughout the Province. This survey will also help Ottawa Tourism gauge how its members are faring throughout this situation; therefore, we ask that our members select ‘Region 10: Ottawa and Countryside’ for question two.  Please click to answer a short survey. This survey is a follow up to the survey sent to membership last week.

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BREAKING: GRACE PERIOD FOR INTERIM MUNICIPAL TAX BILLS

The City of Ottawa’s interim tax bills—which represent 50 per cent of the previous year’s tax bill—were mailed to property owners in mid-February with payment due tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

The City has announced that it will extend a payment grace period to April 15, 2020 (pending approval at the March 25, 2020 Council meeting or at the earliest available opportunity).

NOTE: Property owners who are enrolled in pre-authorized debit plans are not affected by the grace period and do not need to take any action.

For further details, please monitor media reports, contact your City Councillor, or visit the City of Ottawa webpage at www.ottawa.ca

De​stinati​on Deve​lopment

De​stinati​on Deve​lopment

PASSPORT PROJECT

Members who attended the Ottawa 2020 Vision: Turning DNA into ROI presentation in December will remember that as part of our strategic efforts to continually improve Ottawa’s visitor experience, Ottawa Tourism is looking to introduce a Destination Passport to help streamline the booking experience for visitors, both prior to their trip and in-destination. Ottawa Tourism continues to work on the development of the attractions passport in partnership with members – this is being done in order to ensure Ottawa Tourism’s recovery preparedness. For questions on this project, please contact Kelly Haussler, Manager, Destination Development. 

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SOCIAL MEDIA DURING COVID-19

Ottawa Tourism has put together some helpful recommendations for your social media strategy during COVID-19. Get helpful tips on what your business can do to provide relevant information to the public, while still maintaining a positive presence online.

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