Elk Valley tourist information centres have been told they will not receive funding for summer student placements this year.
Sarah Parry at the Fernie Chamber of Commerce said that the centre receives funding every year for the students who work at the tourist information centre during the busiest summer months.
“It was a shock to hear we wouldn’t be receiving funding,” she said. “For as long as I know we have had students come and help us during the summer months, when we are required to be open to the public seven days a week. There are only two of us working here so it is impossible for us to be open without them. We are going to have to find the funding for them ourselves.”
Parry said the Chamber would need to try to find the money to pay the students, but they had not been prepared for the cost.
The other tourist centres in the Elk Valley are facing the same situation.
“We just assumed we would get the funding, as always,” said Parry. “We had 12,000 visitors last year – the majority in the summer months. Having students here not only helps us keep the centre open, but also gives them great experience on the job.
“We don’t make a lot of profit, so it’s going to be hard to find the money.”