Between floods and fires, the Shuswap’s tourism industry continues to take hits this summer.
Now, Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo is calling on the NDP government to send out the message that B.C.– and in particular the Shuswap – is still welcoming guests.
In a letter to Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Kyllo discusses the hardships being faced by local tourism operators.
“Tourist are cancelling their holidays, even to area that have not suffered losses due to the fires. Hotels, restaurant and many other businesses are reporting significant declines in their revenues – many who count on the summer season to support then for the entire year,” he writes.
“It’s important to let visitors know we are still open for business, especially in the Shuswap, where we have not been directly impacted by the wildfires.”
Both the Salmon Arm and Sicamous Visitor Information Centres are reporting fewer people coming through the doors this season, and anecdotal reports from their staff indicate they are receiving many calls form tourists asking about air quality and proximity to fires.
“People are nervous,” says Robin Cyr, Shuswap Tourism manager in a previous Observer interview. “First they are hearing floods and now fires.”
Kyllo would like to see some action taken before the summer season is over.
“I’m asking the province to develop a positive media campaign to help counteract the negative news coverage that B.C. is currently receiving,. This initiative would help to assure the thousands of tourists who keep our tourism industries running, that British Columbia is open and ready to welcome them and their families.”