Tourism on Vancouver Island is getting a helping hand from the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The council has awarded Tourism Vancouver Island and Destination Greater Victoria the Safe Travels Stamp.

The stamp recognizes destinations and tourism businesses that have adopted globally accepted health and hygiene protocols so visitors can have “safe travels.”

Tourism Vancouver Island President and CEO Anthony Everett says this will give a timely boost to promoting the island as a destination.

It’s part of a global initiative, and Everett says the stamp will help “winning our consumers back to come visit our destinations.”

He says they want to encourage British Columbians to keep travelling to Vancouver Island but in a safe manner.

Everett says despite a good summer, tourism businesses on Vancouver Island have seen business drop off considerably this year.

“The summer saw an uptick in business all over the Island, but we’re still down by about 50-percent year-over-year, and I think our big concern these days is that many of our experienced operators are really struggling.”

Everett says that being able to use this global tool “is a ray of positivity on what will otherwise be a long, hard road” for tourism operators this autumn and winter.

– with files from Mike Patterson