Campbell River residents urged to become tourists in their own community to help support local operators
The community of Campbell River, British Columbia, has launched a campaign to help small tourism operators get through the next stage of the pandemic.
With very few international visitors expected yet this summer, the Campbell River and District Chamber of Commerce is encouraging locals to participate in area tourist activities, such as whale watching, sport fishing and kayaking.
Chamber of Commerce executive director Mary Ruth Snyder said the offer to help tour operators was a continuation of a campaign announced last spring that asked people to shop and dine there.
“Absolutely continue to support retailers, go get that special little gift – but add an experience to it. Campbell River has so many unique tour operators, amazing accommodations, right on the water,” she said in an interview with CBC. All points west.
Stephen Gaborik, owner of Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours, says his business has really struggled over the past year as it normally relies heavily on international visitors.
“We found that there were just not enough travelers and enough people on the move to really support our business,” said Gaborik.
He was hoping this summer would be better than last year, but with the borders still closed, he says he’s starting to lose hope and is getting ready for a summer like 2020.
“We’re going to focus on our local market again and rely on that support. We really want to encourage people to go out and spend money on local sports in our own backyard,” said Gaborik.
This is where the campaign comes in.
Snyder encourages locals to consider an experience for special events like Father’s Day or birthdays, or just as a way to escape the everyday.
“Go kayaking, canoeing, whale watching. The museum runs historical book tours throughout the summer so you can learn a bit more about the area you live in. It’s a absolutely wonderful way to reconnect with the land around you, ”she said.
Premier John Horgan recently announced $ 50 million in support for the tourism industry, much of which focused on “top” attractions. Snyder says she would like to see the settings to expand the settings for requesting support.
“There are a lot of tour operators who don’t hit those big million dollar goals and they’re still the ones who really need the help,” she said.
Snyder says she hopes some restrictions will be lifted in the coming weeks and British Columbians will be able to move around the province this summer. In the meantime, she encourages everyone to continue supporting their own community.
All points west11:18Campbell River campaign calls on residents to support tourism operators in the next phase of the pandemic