Revelstoke Tourism is trying to get the message out that the city is still open for business and hasn’t been impacted by the flooding that has caused havoc in Alberta to the east.
They got some good news Wednesday afternoon when the Trans-Canada Highway opened from Calgary to Banff after being closed for nearly a week. Before that, they were trying to let people know about alternate routes through the Kootenays to Revelstoke.
“It’s awesome but it’s still going to take a lot of communication on our part to get people traveling again,” said Revelstoke Tourism coordinator Meghan Tabor on the highway’s reopening. “We’re trying to get the word out that we’re still open for business.”
They have been using social media and traditional media to get the word out; on Wednesday morning a Global TV news team came to Revelstoke to speak to Judy Goodman and Tom Tischik, the executive directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Revelstoke Accommodation Association respectively, about the situation in Revelstoke.
Tabor has also been in conversation with tourism associations in Golden, Salmon Arm and Alberta to get the word out.
“We want to make sure the message is consistent that everything is open for people driving here,” she said.
Still, businesses are expecting tourism to be slower than usual at this time of year. Normally the end of June is when the busy summer season really kicks in, but that isn’t expected to be the case as Albertans, who are a major source of Revelstoke tourists, deal with the fallout from the floods.
“I think we’ll definitely see a drop in numbers here in the near future and whether or not that translates into July and August, we’re hoping it’s not going to with good communication,” Tabor said.
One positive sign is that RV rental agencies aren’t reporting any cancellations. “There hasn’t been a trend in people canceling their plans to Western Canada, so that’s good,” said Tabor.