– Story by Jon Gauthier

You might notice more out-of-town license plates this winter.

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) and Tourism Vancouver Island (TVI) have partnered to bring more ‘snowbirds’ to the Island.

With the U.S-Canada border being closed for now, many will have to look elsewhere for travel over the colder months.

The two have partnered up to create a dedicated resource for long-stay visitors who plan to ‘Venture West This Winter’.

“With our temperate winter climate, Vancouver Island is a natural alternative for Canadian Snowbirds,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO, of Tourism Vancouver Island.

“We are committed to supporting the survival of the 3,000+ tourism businesses in the Vancouver Island region by adapting our target visitor and forging deep partnerships and collaboration, including with BCHA, to strengthen the visitor economy.”

He says Candian Snowbirds will be able to book accommodation, educate themselves on safety protocols for the communities they will be visiting and plan ahead to spend their extended time on the Island living like a local.

President and CEO of the BC Hotel Association, Ingrid Jarrett, adds that the online tool will help bring more people to the Island, and support local businesses during the ongoing pandemic.

“B.C.’s accommodation community has suffered monumental financial losses and hardship due to COVID-19’s impact on travel. With the Canada-U.S. border closed for the foreseeable future, the fall/winter off-season poses particularly threatening challenges to the tourism industry. This requires an innovative look at new potential markets and Canadian Snowbirds pose a promising opportunity that we are thrilled to explore.”

To learn more about the campaign, click here.