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EDITORIAL – B.C. tourism needs more staycays, not more federal handouts

(Image: Kamloops Heritage Railway)

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 mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (7836 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – B.C. tourism needs more staycays, not more federal handouts

  1. Honestly, if there were 680 millions laying around I would want my government to spend it on Medicare with special emphasis on mental health. In lieu of the opioid crisis, global warming/climate change and now Covid-19 I find it totally mind boggling they would even ask.

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