In a normal year, Tourism Nova Scotia’s Visitor Services team would be providing trip counselling services, answering questions about travel to and within Nova Scotia, and offering top-tier customer service across the province in person, over the phone and via email.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Nova Scotia Visitor Services staff are still helping – just in a very different way. The Visitor Services team have been redeployed to assist IWK Health with their patient outreach, in addition to their travel-related services. From completing pre-screening appointments for COVID-19 symptoms to answering questions about the clinics, TNS staff are providing a friendly voice and assistance to citizens across the Maritimes.
“We are very proud of our Visitor Services team who are supporting IWK Health while also staying up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 guidelines as they continue to answer travel planning calls and email inquiries,” shares Jeff Shute, Chief Operating Officer at Tourism Nova Scotia. “They have worked incredibly hard and successfully pivoted their skills during this time of need.”
“It is amazing what can happen when we, as Nova Scotians, pull together when we need it the most,” says Andrew Doig, Patient Screening Supervisor, Health Information Services, at IWK Health. “The Tourism team members are professional, friendly, and have been up to the task of completing COVID pre-screening calls for the IWK. Each call they make helps a patient or family prepare for their visit to the IWK. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done and continue to do,” he adds.
Here’s what some of our Visitor Services team say about their experience working with the IWK:
- “Providing this important service to the clients of the IWK Health Centre has been an honour. The clients are very grateful for the reminders of their appointments and for the proof of such care being taken to ensure their safety…They appreciate being able to ask a question or provide a comment that can be relayed to the clinics. I am grateful to have this opportunity to serve our community.” - Kari Lewis, VIC Supervisor, Halifax Waterfront Provincial VIC
- “Since so much has changed in the world during this pandemic with tourism being greatly affected, I’m just happy to be able to assist the IWK with their appointment reminders and COVID screening patients to keep us all safer during these challenging times. Tourism is always there to assist the public in one way or another!” -Tania Delaney, Assistant Supervisor, Halifax Airport Provincial VIC
- “I use my tourism customer service skills and make sure to smile while I am talking on the phone. They can’t see me, but I’m sure they can sense it in my voice and I believe it makes them feel good.” -Ginette Comeau, Assistant Tourism Contact Supervisor, Yarmouth
“We feel incredibly proud to be working with and supporting the IWK during these times…We may not be doing “Tourism” related work but we are all doing what we all do best, trying to lend an ear and be compassionate & understanding.” - Leanne McIlvena, VIC Supervisor, Amherst Provincial VIC
“What a great opportunity to be part of the IWK Team during such trying times as the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel tremendously honored to be a part of keeping everyone safe as they attend their appointments.” - Brenda Merrill, Assistant Supervisor, Amherst Provincial VIC
“To be able to help the IWK during a pandemic is deeply satisfying. The majority of folks we call are truly grateful and appreciative of the reminders and the COIVD screening questions. Our customer service skills surely come into play here. I’m happy to assist on the project until the time is right to return.” - Terrilynn Andrew, Supervisor, Halifax Airport Visitor Information Centre
“It has been nice talking to different people and connecting with them because we are all in this together and all going through these strange times.” - Hannah LeBlanc, Tourism Contact Centre Travel Counsellor, Yarmouth