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

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police circulated photo of alleged cat thief actually woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports first vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

Most Read