During Tourism Week, Tourism Red Deer is thanking Red Deerians for supporting local businesses. (Photo by Advocate staff)

During Tourism Week, Tourism Red Deer is thanking Red Deerians for supporting local businesses. (Photo by Advocate staff)

Tourism Week: Keep supporting central Alberta economy

It’s been a long, tough year. We know. It has not been easy for any of our local entrepreneurs including those whose livelihoods depend on the local and visitor traffic.

I took on the role of executive director of Tourism Red Deer, in mid-May of 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic, never did I think a year later we would still be in a shutdown mode. But we are.

On behalf of our members of Tourism Red Deer and our industry in central Alberta, I want to say thank you for being there for us. Thank you for showing up for the pop-up events, ordering from our curb-side pickup, taking in a staycation with our local hotels and enjoying the extended patios when you were able to.

Our industry has led the way in showing how resilient we are as Albertans. In dealing with changes and continued uncertainty, our industry has adapted and pivoted to offer peace of mind for our guests. They have spent thousands of dollars to follow restrictions and to remain open when they can. Some have been fortunate enough to open and offer a great customer experience for food service, outdoor adventures, hospitality, arts and culture. Some have not been so lucky and have remained closed or on the verge of never opening their doors again.

We want to end this as much as you do. No one wants to be here on this roller coaster of financial and emotional suffering. We want to return to normal; we want to get back to where we were before March 11, 2020. We want to be there for you, we want to see people back to work, and help our local businesses survive.

While we navigate through this, Tourism Red Deer will continue to provide you with safe and fun options for your family this summer as you explore Red Deer’s backyard.

Rene Rondeau, is the executive director at Tourism Red Deer.

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