Wildfires Having ‘Significant Impacts on Tourism’
Williams Lake, B.C. – No surprise here, but wildfires in the Cariboo are taking its toll on the tourism industry.
According to the Cariboo Chilcotin Tourism Association, approximately 436 tourism businesses are under an evacuation order or alert in the region.
Despite the challenges those evacuation orders and alerts have posed to businesses, there was some good news this week when Cache Creek residents were allowed to return home.
In addition to that, the Trans-Canada Highway is now open to regular traffic and authorities have opened Highway 97 North from Cache Creek to Highway 24 and Highway 99 to Lillooet.
With that in mind, the CCTA is encouraging people to call resorts in the area to see if they’re open for business.
“Our office has heard from resorts at Quesnel Lake, in our world-renowned interior rainforest, that they are having a very ‘usual’ summer with exceptional wildlife viewing – but very few guests,” says Amy Thacker, CCTA CEO. “Ranches and fishing resorts along the “Fishing Highway 24” and the Interlakes area have also reported few visitors but great days on the lakes and trails.”
Thacker says the wildfire situation has closed their office though it continues to work with tourism businesses around the region to address their needs.
She also says they don’t have an estimate yet in terms of business loss or revenue loss though they’ve started canvassing businesses for that information.
To date there are currently 16 wildfires of note in the Cariboo burning 319,100 hectares. That works out to approximately 2.7 per cent of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.