NEW TOURISM EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK TO GUIDE INDUSTRY DURING CRISES
May 5, 2022 – Victoria, BC: In conjunction with Emergency Preparedness Week, a collaborative Tourism Emergency Management Committee (TEMC) has released a new BC Tourism Emergency Management Framework to help reduce the industry’s vulnerabilities and risks and lessen the potentially adverse impacts to visitor experiences during emergencies.
The framework provides a unified structure to support tourism partners and visitors on matters related to the four pillars of emergency management…specifically mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. It also supports the Province of British Columbia’s comprehensive emergency management plans by strengthening integration and consideration of visitors and the visitor economy before, during and after an emergency event. This includes addressing visitors’ unique needs during emergencies, improving tourism industry preparedness, managing long term destination reputation, and reducing economic impact to tourism businesses.
As BC’s visitor economy continues to recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a strong need for a coordinated approach to emergency management for the tourism sector, particularly given anticipated future crises such as wildfires, flooding, heat domes and another pandemic that could affect BC’s visitor economy and the province’s reputation as a safe and welcoming destination.
Created on behalf of the industry by the TEMC consisting of committee co-chairs TIABC (Tourism Industry Association of BC) and TACS (Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport), along with Destination BC, Indigenous Tourism BC, BC Destination Marketing Organization Association, BC Regional Tourism Secretariat, and Emergency Management BC, the framework ensures that tourism partners collaborate, play a role, and are aligned with the BC emergency management system.
The TEMC is responsible for overseeing ongoing work that advances the objectives of the framework and components of an operational work plan that includes training, response, and communication, which is reviewed and updated regularly. In recent years, the industry has relied on a multi-faceted Tourism Emergency Response Team (TERT) to consolidate information on various crises, coordinate mutual assistance efforts, identify potential issues for the tourism sector, among other things. TERT will be reactivated when the next emergency situation occurs that affects much of the province or an entire region.