It’s no surprise that when the pandemic hit, one of the industries most affected was also one of the province’s biggest: tourism.
But thanks to initiatives launched by the tourism industry, innovations are also letting businesses like Quesnel’s Frog On the Bog in Wells, B.C. emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.
Frog On the Bog is a quaint, local gift shop located in a beautifully restored building in the heart of Wells that also provides accommodation options in Well and Barkerville Historic Town and Park under the Stay in Wells umbrella. Owners Cheryl Macarthy and Dave Jorgenson have been working in tourism in the area for over 22 years and these experienced business folks were looking for additional support to navigate the new reality when COVID-19 hit.
When they heard about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Resiliency Program, they registered immediately. They received one-on-one support that meant they were able to stay on top of changing protocols and were still able to provide their guests with a great experience. “I’m really happy about the support we received, to not just weather the storm, but to relaunch and grow. We have expanded services, rebranded, and filled the gaps of a business that was recently lost,” says Macarthy.
Working together to go beyond recovery
Thanks to help from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Resiliency Program, tourism-based operators like Mcarthy and Jorgenson turned the pandemic into an opportunity to expand and grow. The Tourism Resiliency Program focuses on supporting tourism businesses through providing meaningful one-on-one support to navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, while adapting and working towards building long-term resiliency. Working together across the province, the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat is leading the BC Tourism Resiliency Network. Together, the program has helped more than 1,900 tourism businesses across the province with generous support from Western Diversification Trust and the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is a non-profit, stakeholder-based Regional Destination Management Organization that leads tourism in development and marketing in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Destination British Columbia, Destination Canada and industry partners in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region to help foster responsible growth of tourism to empower a resilient visitor economy. Under this umbrella, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism leads development, sustainability, and consumer marketing. The organization provides leadership and stewardship for tourism, supply and demand for an industry that puts businesses first with the tourism industry, residents, and communities at the heart of all efforts.
Better than before
With the help of the CCCTRP, Macarthy and Jorgensen have been able to make improvements to their business, implementing creative solutions to make sure their customers don’t feel isolated, while at the same time, adhering to safety guidelines. They have also created a safe and attractive waiting area for when the store is at capacity that projects their friendly brand.
Macarthy and Jorgensen are paying it forward, ramping up their purchasing of products from regional and local artists and artisans. Macarthy notes that “when we connect with our advisor, we know she is updated, connected, and looking out for us. at the end of the day, we have a direct line to a person to talk to. We are grateful for the personal commitment and long-term scope of the program as we move through recovery.”
Learn more about Frog On the Bog here.
Business owners can learn more here about the CCCTA.
To learn more and sign up for support through the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Resiliency Program, visit their website at www.tourismresiliency.ca/ccctrp