VICTORIA –Tourism Week in Canada is an opportunity to highlight the importance of tourism as a driver of economic growth and diversity in B.C., and a reminder that the industry needs support and investment to be able to grow, says New Democrat tourism critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.
“Tourism is a key industry that brings consistent foreign investment to British Columbia’s economy and employs thousands of people across the province,” said Chandra Herbert, the MLA for Vancouver-West End. “This week serves as a reminder of the great work being done by the industry and shows us what possibilities exist when we give the industry the support it needs.”
From May 14 - 20, tourism businesses and organizations will participate in a wide range of local and regional events that showcase the economic impact and social benefits of Canada’s tourism sector.
“Tourism provides many business opportunities for our province, and I’ve enjoyed experiencing first-hand some of the innovative ways the industry is looking to grow,” said Chandra Herbert.
Unfortunately, while the industry is putting forward creative and constructive ideas to promote tourism, the Liberal government has made it difficult for the sector to live up to its full potential.
“The B.C. Liberals blew up Tourism B.C., our award-winning tourism marketer six months before the Olympics, and then cut the marketing budget after the games,” said Chandra Herbert.
While New Democrats warned that removing industry leadership would lead to tough times for B.C.’s tourism businesses, in 2009, a government-appointed board was put in control of private tourism marketing, claiming it would double tourism in the province.
“Unfortunately, we’ve actually seen fewer tourists to B.C. than before the Liberals dismantled Tourism B.C.,” said Chandra Herbert.
“On top of that, the Liberals have made the deepest cuts to arts and culture investment in B.C.’s history, deeply hurting the ability of groups to provide the authentic cultural experiences that draw visitors and have them coming back again and again.”
Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats recognize the importance of tourism for British Columbia’s economy and will continue to work with the industry to advocate for this vital sector.