At the beginning of the 2020 season, Pam Martin, owner of Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures on the Saanich Peninsula, B.C., made the decision to completely shut down operations out of an abundance of caution. Martin began taking part in every possible program that Tourism Vancouver Island, Destination BC and other organizations offered to help businesses navigate through these difficult times.
While Martin feels all aspects of the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program have been valuable, the most helpful was having a Program Advisor guiding her through the past year. “Her ability to understand the needs of my business were exceeded only by her positive, cheerful attitude every time we met,” she says.
Bolstered by her learnings and the recommendation of the B.C. Provincial Health Officer to get outside, Martin reopened Blue Jellyfish to locals by early summer. Even with modifications to her programming and reduced capacity, customer demand was strong.
A positive outcome of the pandemic has been that Blue Jellyfish now has a larger, dedicated client base, partially due to the fact Martin was able to spend more time developing relationships with smaller group programs and one-on-one instruction. These customers are now looking for more opportunities to paddle and connect on the water, and are more likely to register for programs this year.
“VICTRP has been instrumental in helping me strengthen the foundations of my business. My Program Advisor’s obvious drive to help my business be resilient encouraged me to continue to persevere. I hope to meet her on the water for a paddle one day to express my gratitude in person,” concludes Martin.