Tourism Revelstoke is calling on Premier John Horgan to assist in the recovery of the tourism industry.
In a letter addressed to Horgan, Stacey Brensrud, executive director for the Chamber of Commerce and Meghan Tabor, marketing and destination director for Tourism Revelstoke, support the Tourism Industry Association of BC’s ask for a $680-million recovery package.
“Local visitors are simply not enough to sustain this visitor economy; its viability is built on visitation from far and wide,” reads the letter.
According to Brensrud and Tabor, accommodation occupancy has been down over 45 per cent since March and overseas visitation down by 98 per cent.
“Add to these the pressure of the phasing out of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy by year’s end, the worker shortage crisis, and we can see that the economic curve for the tourism sector is falling off a cliff.”
The letter concludes by saying that the association’s ask of $680 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the dollars that tourism businesses have contributed over the decades.
“With targeted investment to help our tourism operators get through the winter and into next spring, our visitor economy will have a chance to rebound.”
The Tourism Industry Association of BC requested the funding in July, which would be more than one-third of the provinces promised $1.5 billion COVID-19 recovery package pledged to the province by the federal government.
At the time, association chair Vivek Sharma said existing stimulus packages aimed at overall economic recovery are helpful, but they aren’t enough to revive a sector in which 300,000 jobs were affected at the height of the pandemic.