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  • Writer's pictureHatch Comms

BCRTS Crisis Comms

Updated: May 3, 2023

For Immediate Release

May 4, 2023

British Columbia Tourism Secretariat Offers Proactive Crisis Communications Support to Communities with Visitors Around the Province

Kelowna, B.C. - Visitors to British Columbia can travel with greater confidence knowing their safety and wellbeing are a top priority to area tourism associations. The British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) is pleased to announce a partnership with Hatch Comms that will provide increased proactive crisis communications support to related Community Destination Management Organizations for visitors during an emergency event.

During crises in recent years, the BCRTS has become the source to turn to for critical messages, management training and information for visitors in the region. The goal of this partnership is to improve crisis communications leadership, and for communities to use it as the primary resource, support, and contact for tourism, travel and media messaging during a crisis that is being handled on a local level.

“The most vital service we can offer visitors during emergency situations is timely, clear and accurate information that is easily and consistently accessible,” shares BCRTS Vice Chair, Ellen Walker-Matthews. “Providing leadership and resources to help our destinations plan for the unexpected and calmly communicate real-time information will be a huge benefit to industry, media and visitors at times of crisis.”

Increased wildfires, floods and other natural disasters are happening with greater frequency and severity in the age of climate change. Ahead of what has been predicted to be another busy emergency season, the BCRTS and Hatch Comms are ensuring relevant Community Destination Management Organizations have crisis communications plans in place. These efforts include updating existing destination plans as well as building new ones via approved frameworks and training programs from Destination British Columbia and the Tourism Emergency Management Committee. This will ensure that all situations are well-thought out, responses are prepared, and key stakeholder and media contacts are identified before the busy visitor season commences.

How it Works:

When a Community Destination Management Organization activates the BCRTS emergency support system, Hatch will help the destination implement their crisis communications plans during a high stress situation. This support will ensure that the destination operates within the chain of communications of the appropriate agencies to access official messaging which will then be communicated back through the established tourism channels. These steps should significantly improve outcomes for destinations with visitors in a variety of crisis situations by providing a singular source of accurate information. This will also support the destination’s communications and economy should they be in a nearby but unaffected destination, keeping visitors confidently flowing to areas that remain safe to travel.

Visitors are encouraged to visit Destination British Columbia’s Know Before You Go page and the regional websites for specific areas they may be planning to visit.

This project is a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport; Destination British Columbia; and the BCRTS.

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About British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat:

The British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat is a collaboration among the following five regional destination management organizations: Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Northern BC Tourism Association, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and 4VI (Vancouver Island). For this initiative, it also includes Vancouver Coast Mountains.

The 5 regions under BCRTS are not-for-profit societies governed by the BC Societies Act. They are an industry-led organization, governed by an elected Board of Directors, who represent and support business and community tourism interests throughout each region.

About Hatch Comms:

Hatch Comms, a subsidiary of Hatch Hospitality, is a lifestyle PR agency that specializes in hotels, destinations, wineries, restaurants, ingredients and culinary talent. Tourism, travel and hospitality are all about experiencing the detail and beauty of different lifestyles. Hatch Comms offers clients personalized service that is all about results and relationships. The Hatch team is seasoned experts who are passionate about what they do and thrive on clients' successes, and have enjoyed representing some of the world’s most beautiful, delicious and engaging businesses for more than 25 years.

For more information about Hatch Comms visit, or visit Hatch Hospitality Connect socially at @hatchhospitality

Media Contact:

Krista Lochhead



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