Tourism Fernie launched a number of initiatives to promote local tourism. Photo Submitted

Tourism ramps back up in the Elk Valley

Heading into phase three, Tourism Fernie kicks off various inititives supporting local businesses

As British Columbia moves forward into phase three of their restart plan, tourism is once again ramping up in the Elk Valley.

Phase three officially allows residents to travel within the province, while also permitting visitors from other provinces to enter safely. As such, Tourism Fernie is actively marketing in British Columbia and Alberta, encouraging safe travel and overnight visitation while abiding by all regulations set out by the B.C. government and provincial health officer.

According to Jikke Gyorki, executive officer for Tourism Fernie, many local businesses rely on summer tourism for sustainability. While they are facing challenges due to limited travel, local businesses are welcoming increased tourism as it assists with generating revenues, maintaining the local economy, and supporting cherished community amenities.

According to Gyorki, Alberta represents over 65 per cent of Fernie’s typical summer market. Even though Destination BC enhanced provincial marketing, Fernie’s distance from B.C’s larger population centres and proximity to Calgary renders Albertans critical to the sustainability of local businesses.

“Tourism is a critical economic sector of our community, generating over $100 million in outside revenues spent in our town annually,” said Gyorki. “Local businesses and residences that work not just in tourism, but also with the many businesses that support the tourism businesses, would not be sustainable without tourism. Tourism has been a part of the community for over 100 years. Without it our community would not see the level of activities, amenities, shopping, dining, trails, and beautification that we love and appreciate.”

To support Fernie’s businesses, Gyorki suggests locals plan staycations, or partake in guided activities such as rafting, hiking, bike clinics, or fly fishing. To assist with this endeavour, Tourism Fernie recently launched a local initiative to encourage local tourism, accessible at FernieStaycation.com.

Further advocating for the importance of local tourism as the pandemic ensues, Tourism Fernie led an initiative on behalf of the Kootenay region, partnering with other regional tourism organizations and chambers of commerce. In a letter to premier John Horgan, they addressed issues unique to the Kootenays including the timing, messaging and geographic areas for visitation.

Tourism Fernie also assisted with the creation of the Work in Fernie website, as well as the Resort Municipality Initiative program, and have put forth a marketing campaign to support local tourism and overnight visitation to Fernie. They are currently busy updating the Tourism Master Plan in partnership with a local 14-person stakeholder task force.

Gyorki noted that Tourism Fernie, community organizations, the city, and local businesses are abiding by all provincial directives and guidelines to keep everyone safe, however residents are still responsible for following all social distancing, travel, and hygiene directives. Tourism Fernie encourages Fernieites to be kind and respectful to locals and tourists, while urging residents to relay information about the importance of Fernie’s tourism economy, supporting local businesses, and traveling safe to all visiting family and friends.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Tourism

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

Just Posted

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

The International Snow Science Workshop goes virtual

The livestreamed event will include speaker sessions, poster presentations, and panel discussions

Twlefth annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour showcases local artists

Artists from throughout the Elk Valley will be participating in the event August 8 and 9

Elk River Alliance encourages volunteers to ‘bring their own bubble’ and help clear invasive species from Elk Valley

Invasive species haven’t taken a break due to the pandemic, and the Elk River Alliance hasn’t either.

ICBC stats show Fernie, Crowsnest Highway the most likely locations for collisions in Elk Valley

Drivers most often have collisions in Fernie and along the Crowsnest Hwy. according to ICBC stats

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Most Read