Destination BC says they’re are trying to minimize negative impact to tourism operators who are outside of fire zones.
“Obviously, we’re seeing cancellations in the emergency areas but there are also businesses that have been impacted because of access issues like highway closures, and then there are those that have been affected because of misinformation leading people to believe that an area is under fire or that there are air quality issues,” says Maya Lange, vice president of global marketing.
“Only 10% of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast area is in a wildfire situation that still means there is a vast area that’s still available to travel.”
Lange says, although Vancouver Island is seeing an uptick in tourism, it has not offset the volume of cancellations for other operators, including the Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay-Rockies. The majority of cancellations are coming from BC residents and Albertans.
Destination BC will be increasing their annual Explore BC marketing program with print, TV, billboards, and social media to communicate that the province is open to explore and where to get accurate information.
— Destination BC (@HelloBC) August 15, 2017
She says, from a recovery perspective, they will ensure that impacted areas receive additional marketing support once it is safe to visit and capacity has been established.
“We are extremely proud of the business owners in the affected areas. During these trying times, they are rising above and beyond providing outstanding levels of service and noble acts from hosting stranded visitors on extended vacations to housing and feeding the work crews at all hours of the day.”