- BC Games
Summer strong for Chase tourist numbers
A little extra education from students may be one of the many things that brought an increase in Chase tourism last summer.
There is no question that Elena Markin has been working hard at the local visitor centre, ensuring the word gets out on all the village has to offer.
The numbers show her work has been paying off. In June there were 486 visitors who stopped in the centre this year, a jump up from the previous year’s 410.
July’s numbers dipped slightly, 1,386 to just 1,240 this year.
In August, numbers were up again, from 1,433 to 1,493 this year
Markin notes these numbers only reflect those who stop in at the centre itself.
Many Chase tourists still make their way into town without stopping by the centre, and an increasing number are heading to the centre’s website for information.
While most of the area’s tourists are from within B.C., it continues to attract many international travellers.
Markin believes that many of the new attractions Chase is offering are just one of the factors bringing in a little extra tourist flow.
This year, Markin also had the privilege of hiring three First Nations students. Savannah August, Rainbow Bruderer, and Torri Kenoras spent the summer working at the visitor centre.
While they usually have enough funding for one student, Wes Francois from the local employment centre helped Markin get two more students.
This, Markin said, was a huge help, not only to her but to travellers as well.
Markin said the girls were able to provide detailed information about First Nations culture and the lands surrounding Chase.
With many visitors coming to Canada interested in learning more about the culture, Markin said it was a great benefit to have experts on the area’s history on hand.
They were able to talk about the pit houses and so much information relevant to the area, Markin said, adding that the visitors loved it.
Bruderer also had the added experience of working on tours at Quaaout Lodge.
Their enriched knowledge of the area’s First Nations were just one of the helpful aspects the girls brought to the centre. They also helped provide Markin with a younger perspective, she said, and provided her the opportunity to look at things from another viewpoint.
Markin believes the help provided by the students were a major part of the centre’s positive reviews and success this summer – something she hopes will carry on in what is expected to be a big tourism year next year with the big salmon run.