Updates to industry about COVID-19

Navigating COVID-19

Travel Alberta continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19

| Royce Chwin

Dear partners,

The situation continues to evolve daily with reported cases in 61 countries outside China. While it’s impossible to use the word “positive” in association with an epidemic that is hurting families and economies, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the number of cases in China continues to decline. It’s an indication that containment measures are working, which is encouraging, considering 90 per cent of the cases globally are in China, and mostly in one province, Hubei.

At a media briefing held on March 2, the WHO’s Director-General discussed how COVID-19 differs from influenza and why the organization is not categorizing this a pandemic.

We know the outbreak is impacting global tourism as countries wrestle with the right course of action to take. We saw this late last week when Germany elected to cancel ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair.

Travel Alberta continues to work closely with Destination Canada, Alberta destination organizations and industry partners to monitor the situation. We’re aware of several trip postponements and cancellations for tours, particularly in our popular hotspots, like the Rockies. I thank the many partners that have been keeping in touch with Travel Alberta to let us know what you’re seeing and hearing in your communities. I also commend you for the empathy you’re demonstrating in making it as easy as possible for Chinese travellers during a difficult time.

For the time being, Travel Alberta has paused marketing efforts in China out of consideration for what the country is dealing with. We continue to provide key updates to partners on our Industry Hub, and have provided links to important information for travellers on the “Travel Tips” page (Health and Insurance section) of our consumer website.

We’ll continue to stay in touch with you on this situation as it unfolds. However, if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please reach out to Danielle Vlemmiks, our Director, Stakeholder Engagement, at danielle.vlemmiks@travelalberta.com.

Royce Chwin
CEO, Travel Alberta