On recovery and re-openings: Announcing Capital Concierge’s VIRES campaign

The second half of 2020 is upon us, and we’re resolved to turning the corner.

When COVID hit and closures took hold, Capital Concierge took a pause.

(Winston Wilmont‘s public affairs consultancy work took off; in fact, it’s busier than ever. But the visits and events space – in which Capital Concierge operates – was, frankly, punishing.)

Woman in closed shop with mask

Several pending contracts suddenly disappeared. Leads dried up. And people were focused on everything but making travel plans.

The global pandemic’s economic victims were in a similar (and crowded) boat. For hospitality sector businesses, the past four months have been brutal.

Deep declines in traveller spending in Q2 2020

Our Chris Day attended Ottawa Tourism‘ s recent, virtual annual general meeting where the hurt was driven home again.

  • Traveller spending down 90% in Q2
  • An expected ‘hangover’ of 12- to 18- months
  • Deep uncertainty surrounding potential subsequent waves

Many businesses will not survive the summer, much less until we have a safe vaccine.

Despite all the doom and gloom, there were signs of cautious optimism. Some businesses have pivoted. Others have found ways to re-open (to a degree, at least). And many local hospitality operators are in the process of regrouping, re-imagining, and resetting.

In other words, a recovery of sorts looms. Its shape is still very much TBD. But hyper-local would appear to be the name of the game. And, on that front, things are happening.

We reflected on all of this on Canada Day – the quietest one any of us can remember seeing in Ottawa. And we are choosing to be part of the solution.

Today, Capital Concierge launches our VIRES campaign.

Vires in Latin means strength and power. Virer in French means to turn (as in turning a corner). For us, VIRES means helping our neighbours by providing free publicity and promotion to local hospitality operators who are restarting their businesses creatively and responsibly.

From now until Labour Day, we will highlight opportunities for hyper-local experiences activities that privilege: Virtual (first if not solely), Intimate (small group, bubble-friendly), Responsive (to public health guidelines and recommendations), Exclusive (neither obvious nor run of the mill), and Supportive (of small and medium enterprises that have been hardest hit).

If you have the means to support local businesses right now, we’ll offer our best ideas on how and where to spend your entertainment dollar.

And if you would like for us to organize a custom experience or special occasion on your behalf, we are offering a special summer discount on our services. Simply get in touch for details.

This is VIRES. Watch this space over the coming days and weeks for ways you can be part of it.

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