An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE B.C.TOURISM INDUSTRY wants $680 million of federal money. That’s in addition to already existing recovery plans.
There’s no question tourism has been hard hit by the pandemic. Tourism Kamloops recently did a survey aimed at creating a strategy for attracting travellers to the city again.
It’s a major challenge, especially with restrictions on international travel. Still, it’s time to think about welcoming visitors back as restrictions are relaxed.
Dealing with the negative effects of COVID-19 is a big issue, but imagine what Minneapolis is going through. Not only does it have the pandemic to worry about, but it will be forever tainted as the city in which George Floyd was killed by police officers, sparking round-the-world protests.
How do you reassure the world that your city is still a good place after that? Well, Minneapolis is meeting the issue head on. Its civic web page, for example, now begins with an upfront acknowledgement of the George Floyd tragedy.
“Over the last several months, our Minneapolis community has faced extraordinarily painful challenges,” it says.
The main topics on the page are legal actions around the George Floyd case, plans to transform the police department, and resources for businesses and the public to recover from the civil unrest.
Aside from a pandemic, riots and looting, though, Minneapolis is still a great place to visit. It has great parks and lakes and vibrant culture. Trip Advisor describes it as an attractive and fun getaway.
Full disclosure — Minneapolis has never been on my bucket list, but if there weren’t several hundred other cities I’d rather visit first, I’d consider it just because of its upfront, tell-it-like-it-is approach.
Here in B.C., we need to appreciate what we have going for us just as Minneapolis does. We live in a spectacular province, and we need to rediscover it for ourselves. That will do way more good than millions in federal bailouts.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.