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Posted on: May 8, 2020

Task Force focussed on Banff’s economic recovery in wake of COVID-19

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Banff & Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT), Parks Canada, the Town of Banff, and Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association (BLLHA) created the Banff & Lake Louise Economic Task Force to deliver a phased plan to safely and effectively re-open the economy in Banff National Park.

The task force will help the community follow direction from Alberta Health Services. Decisions around health and safety protocols in public spaces and businesses will be guided by expert health advice.

“The task force will mobilize a strategy to move from business reopening to a sustainable economy,” said Leslie Bruce, President & CEO of BLLT. “Our community has been hit hard by the pandemic, with large-scale temporary unemployment and businesses on the edge of permanent closure due to complete loss of revenue over the past seven weeks. This group will work on an approach to welcoming back visitors in a way that ensures our entire destination is safe and rewarding for the community and for visitors.”

This integrated and aligned approach will address immediate needs to reopen businesses and achieve economic recovery within Banff National Park, while laying the foundation for long-term sustainability of tourism in the most visited national park in the country.

“A key priority is to protect the wellbeing of our residents and businesses as we move through the stages or Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. “As we continue to navigate the impact of the pandemic, it is imperative that we do not undo all the achievements of our community to stop the spread of COVID-19. We will work with our community on the measures in public spaces we will need in order to maintain safe distancing between individuals and other health protocols that everyone will have to follow while in Banff.”

The task force is working through the details for how the destination will gradually reopen businesses and support services, in preparation for the upcoming stages of lifting restrictions on travel and reintroducing economic activity.

“It is critical that we work with the business community to ensure they have the safety measures and training in place to provide the highest quality of responsible service delivery for staff and customers as we move through a staged approach to welcoming visitors back to our destination,” said Darren Reeder, Executive Director of Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association. “We are working with Alberta Health Services, various Alberta departments and agencies, and industry associations to implement safe workplace practices as part of the protocols identified by health experts, while we revive our economy.”

The approach reflects the destination’s unique qualities as Canada’s first and most visited national park. Our communities are solely focused on serving visitors, with an ongoing commitment to protecting this special place in the Rockies.

The objectives of the task force include:

  • Safely re-open the destination.
  • Welcome visitors back to Banff National Park.
  • Protect the destination’s brand reputation.
  • Coordinate communications to our stakeholders.
  • Seek opportunities to test future sustainable approaches.

Members of the Banff & Lake Louise Economic Task Force include:

  • Karen Sorensen, Mayor, Town of Banff
  • Kelly Gibson, Town Manager, Town of Banff
  • Trevor Long, Chair, Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association
  • Darren Reeder, Executive Director, Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association
  • Dave McDonough, Banff Field Unit Superintendent, Parks Canada
  • Rick Kubian, Lake Louise, Yoho, Kootenay Field Unit Superintendent, Parks Canada
  • Pete Woods, Chair, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
  • Leslie Bruce, President & CEO, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

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