The tourism industry is integral to British Columbia’s economy. ‘Beautiful’ BC offers some of the best views and experiences to be found in Canada, attracting tourists from around the world. In total, BC’s tourism industry contributed $8.3 billion to the province’s economy in 2018, making tourism larger than all of BC’s primary resource industries including forestry, fishing, and mining.
In fact, before the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia’s tourism industry supported over 160,000 jobs, generating approximately $20.5 billion in total revenue in 2018 according to BC Tourism.
In Loop Insights’ home city of Vancouver, local amenities including Vancouver’s convention center, ski hills, and popular tourist attractions are critical components of the local economy, which together represents a massive portion of the city’s economy:
- Vancouver welcomed over 11 million overnight visitors in 2019
- Metro Vancouver tourism generated $14 billion in total revenue in 2019
- Metro Vancouver tourism supported the equivalent of 104,000 full-time jobs in 2019
The size and scope of Vancouver’s tourism industry have underscored the need for a safe and sustainable solution capable of safely reopening Vancouver’s travel, tourism, and hospitality industries. With billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake, it is critical that Vancouver reopen its doors safely to enable a sustainable return to pre-pandemic tourism levels.
Being a data-first company, Loop provides the “glue” needed to integrate the digital infrastructure of governments and local businesses to more effectively mitigate COVID-19. Data is only useful if it is actionable. Loop connects data from government apps, testing platforms, guest accommodation systems, travel itineraries, and more into one secure data set. Loop does this using its digital ID technology attached to our mobile wallet passes.
Loop also fills the gaps in the connected data infrastructure. For example, Loop has secured its own testing partner, Empower Clinics, to provide a complete end-to-end solution where necessary.
After the successful deployment of two venue bubbles that protected NCAA players, athletes, and staff at Thanksgiving basketball tournaments in 2020, Loop Insights and Empower Clinics have partnered together to establish the ‘Reopen Vancouver’ coalition. The coalition aims to lead local businesses to join together in support of government agencies on the path to reopen Vancouver safely and securely. Together, we intend to pursue a data-driven, evidence-based approach to safely reopen Vancouver’s tourism and hospitality sectors.
Following the Canadian federal government’s announcement that all international travelers will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the country, Loop and Empower feel the two companies are uniquely positioned to provide an integrated solution in the form of a digital Wallet pass with bank-level security and privacy that can be offered to travelers visiting Vancouver.
Together, Loop and its testing partner Empower Clinics will lead a coalition of local stakeholders to deploy the infrastructure necessary to enable Vancouver’s economic recovery while adhering to government travel requirements.
Loop’s complete venue management solution centers on its Digital Travel Wallet Pass technology, which securely connects users’ health, testing, and vaccination data with government infrastructure to create one seamless user experience. All this is done using the digital wallet on a user’s mobile device, which requires no additional hardware or software from the end-user.
In addition to proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, travelers entering into Canada are expected to be diverted to either Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, or Montreal, before staying at pre-designated hotels for a mandatory three-day quarantine period as they await COVID-19 test results. As part of these requirements, the ‘Reopen Vancouver’ coalition is currently in discussions with local stakeholders in the hospitality sector to establish the necessary infrastructure and protocols to Reopen Vancouver while in accordance with all government regulations.