Back-to-back summers of fire and smoke stoke B.C. tourism industry fears
The province is wanting to mitigate preventing wildfires but tourism operators ought to be coping with what appears like an ongoing risk by offering and promoting fall, spring and winter options than relying too heavily on the peak summer months rather, he said.
Hotel occupancy statistics shall show Prince George, B.C., had an excellent summer however the numbers don’t tell the complete story, said Annie Doran, marketing manager for the neighborhood tourism bureau.
“Our accommodations have already been full two summers in a row because of many evacuees arriving at Prince George because the main evacuation centre,” she said.
“It had been incredibly smoky. We’d six weeks of no sunshine basically, cloaked in with smoke just,” Doran said, adding the reported many cancellations or abbreviated trips.
Smoke that spilled on the border into Alberta caused a lot more than 3,000 guests to cancel helicopter sightseeing tours from locations near Banff National Park and in the Badlands of southern Alberta, reported Todd Johnson, director of business development for Alpine Helicopters.
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He said it had been a negative summer throughout, estimating a complete of 10,000 guests cancelled, resulting in a $1-million revenue shortfall.
“We’d plenty of cancellations because of weather and, once the weather improved, needless to say, fire season kicked in also it was smoke, so we’d to cancel or give guests the choice of not going because of the visibility,” he said.
He said the fires certainly are a “black eye” for the.
“The complete point would be to start to see the mountains, to be close and personal to those big mountains up.”
The fires resulted in many cancellations throughout B.C. year and statistics will probably show a considerable effect on tourism if they are released this, said Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of B.C.
He said there could be a direct effect on bookings next year but he doesn’t expect a long-term reduction because demand for B.C.’s tourism product keeps growing in new markets such as for example China, Australia and mexico and is steady in traditional markets including the United States.