Minister of Tourism and Culture Jeanie Dendys has issued the following statement to mark the kick-off of the 2020 National Tourism Week.
As we mark this year’s National Tourism Week, the tourism industry finds itself facing a new and very challenging global landscape.
The past several years of banner growth and development, ground-breaking partnerships and the focused vision of the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy have been an exciting and optimistic time.
This has all been interrupted by the global pandemic, but I am so impressed with how the tourism sector has responded to lend a hand.
Airlines have safely transported family members home to care for loved ones. Our hotels have housed those who needed a safe place to self-isolate. Restaurants have adapted delivery and pickup services to provide quality meals within the new social distancing policies.
This spirit of ingenuity and hospitality is as much a part of what draws visitors from across the world as our incredible wilderness, vibrant culture and fascinating history.
This Tourism Week, I ask Yukoners to reflect on the fact that Tourism is Community. Tourism has reliably been Yukon’s largest private sector employer and second-largest economic driver. It fosters cultural appreciation, supports diversity and contributes to rural economic sustainability. It is powered by Yukoners proud of their home and the stories and experiences that live here.
However, there is no way around it: for the time being, Yukon is not receiving visitors. We are instead telling travellers both here in the Yukon and from outside the territory to Wait for Someday, and to Explore Yukon Later.
But welcoming visitors is intrinsic to who we are as a people. Yukoners always roll out the welcome mat. As our government gradually eases health and travel restrictions and as the tourism sector plans for its recovery, this work will be done in the same spirit of collaboration and engagement that led us to the Yukon Tourism Development Strategy.
This values-based plan was built with the following at its core:
Love our Yukon → Encourage a thriving tourism sector → Preserve and enjoy our natural environment → Honour our heritage → Celebrate our cultures → Build healthy communities → Develop partnerships → Foster innovation
As we chart our path forward and navigate the new normal, please join me in celebrating our community and the tourism sector’s significant contribution to our lives here in the Yukon.
These are difficult times for tourism, no question, but I know we will rebound stronger than ever, thanks to the talents, skills and pride of our community partners in Yukon’s tourism sector.
Learn more: National Tourism Week