Wildfires Hurting Tourism in Chilcotin
Prince George, B.C. – Cariboo Coast Chilcotin Tourism Association says while the wildfires are impacting some communities, there are still opportunities for visitors as the Cariboo Coast Chilcotin region is large and there are still areas that are safely accessible and open.But make no mistake, the wildfires are having an economic impact says Amy Thacker, CEO of the Cariboo Chilcotin Tourism Society “”We do not have any business loss or revenue loss estimates it is too early to know.” She says so far, it is known that 147 tourism businesses have been closed as a result of the fires, but that number may not be complete.
“Tourism in BC is an economic driver in British Columbia and unfortunately, some of our regions, that are hundreds of kilometers away from these impacted areas have reported cancellations” says Maya Lange VP of Global Marketing at Destination BC. She says there have been numerous cancellations of plans from tourists in other parts of Canada and overseas “Because the information they are receiving leads them to believe that BC is burning, which is absolutely not the case.”
She urges communities to post images of the current conditions on facebook and social media, so that word gets out that there are many areas with clear skies and no fires. Lange says tourism businesses in non impacted areas have been encouraged to contact their customers to ensure they have accurate information on the situation.
Amy Thacker says once the emergency is over, and the areas move into recovery stage ” We will be working closely with our government partners and Destination BC to ensure that travellers know these communities and businesses are open. We are not yet there in many areas, but hope this will happen soon.”