While tourism numbers in the summer of 2020 are lower than in previous years, visitors are still spending time at Peach Orchard Beach and other amenities in Summerland. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

After slow start, Summerland sees more tourism activity

Majority of visitors come from within British Columbia

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed travel this spring, but tourists are now making their way to Summerland.

David Hull, executive director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, said this year’s tourist season started slowly for those in the hospitality and tourism industry, but tourist traffic has now picked up.

He said the number of visitors in the community now is around the same as in previous years.

READ ALSO: Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

READ ALSO: Thompson Okanagan safe destination: World Travel & Tourism Council

“We’re seeing a steady increase,” he said.

The province is now in Phase Three of its reopening plan.

This year, he said, 95 per cent of the visitors to Summerland are from other communities in British Columbia.

Visitors have been arriving from all over the province, including many from other parts of the Okanagan Valley.

The rest of this year’s visitors are primarily from Alberta, Hull said.

At the Visitor Centre, staff have been answering questions from Alberta residents interested in vacationing in the area.

Hull urges those considering a trip to British Columbia to be respectful, especially at the beaches and other public spaces.

Although the tourist season is beginning to pick up, Hull expects the impact on tourism operators to be noticeable until at least 2021.

“For people reliant on the tourism industry, it’s going to be a tough year,” he said.

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