FILE – A B.C. Ferry is seen arriving at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver on March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

FILE – A B.C. Ferry is seen arriving at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver on March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

‘Can’t afford to lose another summer’: B.C. tourism group supports COVID travel rules

Details of new measures expected to be released Friday

The organization representing tourism operators in B.C. said they’re “supportive” of new travel measures announced Monday (April 19) to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Walt Judas, CEO of Tourism Industry Association of BC, said the group has been working with the province on trying to get a handle on the pandemic, which in B.C. has reached record-breaking heights in recent weeks.

Judas said that while the association would not want to see a travel ban, they are hoping the more stringent measures – details of which are expected Friday – will help operators turn away out-of-region travellers.

He said that prior pleas and recommendations to stay local were “open to interpretation” in a way he hopes the new order will not be. While details of the new orders were not announced Monday, Premier John Horgan did provide some clues.

“If you live in the Fraser Health area, by all means, take a few days, get outside, perhaps go to a campground in your local area but do not try and book somewhere outside of your area because a tourism operator in that community will not book you passage.”

The travel restrictions will be in place through at least the May long weekend, and will include “random audits” of people travelling between health regions.

Judas said the clarity expected Friday will help tourism operators by giving them government backing.

“We can also say unequivocally now to our guests who are planning to book some travel to British Columbia: Why are you travelling here? Are you aware of the official order that’s in place?” Judas said.

“There are lots of things that we can communicate, that was really more difficult to communicate before.”

He also urged people to not take liberties, even when allowed, with the restrictions by travelling from one edge of a health authority to another.

Judas said the reaction has been mixed.

“Not everybody will like it. Not everybody will be in agreement,” he said. “But on the other hand, I think from what we’ve heard, tourism operators are very fearful that we’re going to lose another summer, or see more stringent restrictions come summer unless we do something today.”

For people looking to explore their local region over the next few weeks, Judas had a few messages: “Stay local, shop local, support local, follow the order and stay home, stay as close to home as possible.”

READ MORE: Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

READ MORE: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirustravel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

North Cowichan has heated exchange over timelines of its official community plan review. (File photo)
North Cowichan’s OCP review divides council

Tight timelines leads to heated debate

Matt Ellison was a star with the Kerry Park Islanders before embarking on a pro career that included stops in the NHL and KHL. (Submitted)
Ex-NHLers to highlight Kerry Park-Peninsula alumni games

Matt Ellison and Kyle Greentree commit to suit up in August

Aaron Stone, chairman of the Island Coastal Economic Trust, said he’s encouraged with the province providing finding for local agencies to hire staff to help get back on economic track during the pandemic. (File photo)
$70K for Economic Development Cowichan for new analyst

Temporary position to help recover from pandemic

“He’ll be bowling for dollars — $30,000 to be exact. Matt Hancock, 15-years-old of Lake Cowichan won in the Coca-Cola B.C. championship finals and will now bowl in the international championship with a chance to win a $30,000 scholarship. Hancock will go to the international competition in Columbus July 10. He is coached by Karen Smith of Cowichan Lake and plays on the T.G.S. bowling team.” (Lake News/May 8, 1996)
Flashback: Taxes, school district amalgamation, logging licences and student news

A look back through the pages of Lake Cowichan’s history

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Top developments north of the Malahat honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo’s Village on Third takes top honour at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Most Read