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October 27, 2017 3:44 pm

Barkerville Impacted by Wildfires

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 @ 1:42 PM

Prince George, B.C.- The wildfires  in the Cariboo and  Kamloops  Fire centres  are having a significant impact on tourism in B.C.,  and Barkerville is a prime  example.

Character interacts with visitors, photo courtesy Barkerville

Mata Lange of Destination B.C.  says  the number  of  visitors to Barkerville   since July 7th  is down 54%  compared to the same period last year  “That has resulted in a 50% drop in  net revenue for the same period.”

Lange says she is sharing that information  because Barkerville is a draw for the entire area “If Barkerville is down,  surrounding privately owned business that provide accommodation,  food,  hospitality and other activities will  also be down  and those impacts will be much harder on those private entities.”

She says in the Kootenay-Rockies,  32% of businesses  are reporting  loss of potential  revenue  due to visitor perceptions   “In July alone, cancellations at one resort  in the Kootenay -Rockies,  resulted in the loss of  approximately 100 thousand dollars  in revenues because of the perceived risk of fire.  This is a pretty  serious loss for any business,  especially  during the summer months.”

She says the  Thompson Okanagan region is seeing 47% of businesses, reporting “business interruption.”  Lange says data from businesses in the fire zones themselves is still being collected, but she is very concerned about the impact on the tourism industry in B.C.  “We are very concerned. Just looking at the volume of visitation and the volume of trips that are taking  by  British Columbian and Alberta residents alone,  we  think there will be a significant impact. ”

Lange says many areas remain  accessible and  are free  from  fire  activity, but cancellations continue because of misinformation.



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