Save on Foods in Hope began limiting the numbers of essential items per shopper to help deter shoppers from hoarding, including milk. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Tourism taking a hit in Hope with pandemic arrival

Businesses adjusting to changing needs of the community due to COVID-19

A Hope motel has been getting cancellations every day recently, all for the same reason — the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen Cheung of the Hope City Centre Motel says one day they had as many as eight cancellations, all due to one local event being cancelled.

“Small businesses are always the hardest hit during difficult times,” she said.

Cheung wants to remind locals to continue to support local businesses, that are likely seeing a drop in tourism dollars at an already difficult financial time of year. Not only is it tax time, with sometimes large tax bills to deal with, but it’s also a common time for businesses to pay the bulk of their bills, she says.

“The timing of COVID-19 couldn’t be worse,” she said. “Please continue to shop, eat, and play in Hope, supporting local during this time.”

She makes the suggestion of even buying gift cards right now that could be used at a later date.

The Tourism Industry Association of B.C. has similar concerns, and has called on the government to intervene to “prevent a complete collapse of the visitor economy.”

A press release sent out March 16 cites massive travel cancellations, from flights and hotel bookings, to conferences and major closures of popular tourist attractions.

READ MORE: B.C. declares state of emergency, recalling legislature for COVID-19

Manning Resort was among other major ski hills to announce they have suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tourism in British Columbia generates upwards of $19 billion in revenues annually through 19,000+ (small) businesses that employ over 330,000 people,” TIABC states. “The industry has enjoyed record- setting growth in recent years and has become the province’s third-largest business sector.”

On a smaller scale, there have been local concerns that the two major grocery stores in Hope won’t be able to handle Hope residents’ needs, particularly seniors or those who can’t afford to stock up.

But those in the grocery industry have also spoken up to let B.C. residents know that there is no reason to panic and that supplies will not run out. Locally, only certain items have seen shortages, but that is said to be from people overbuying, or even hoarding. Items like toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, some fresh foods, and canned items like soups have been hard to find at times.

“We are doing our best to keep our shelves full to keep everyone as happy as possible,” says Pauline Newbigging, store manager at Buy-Low Foods. That grocery chain will be implementing a plan to open their stores only to seniors for their first hour of operations each day, including at the Hope location.

At Save-On Foods in Hope, they have placed limits on certain items per customers, including milk.

There has also been some panic when it comes to COVID-19 itself. Many residents aren’t sure what to do if they start experiencing cold or flu symptoms, which are nearly identical to the novel coronavirus.

Those experiencing symptoms are asked not to go to the emergency room or to a doctor’s office. Instead, they are asked to call *811 or their doctor’s office for information about what to do next.

READ MORE: Surrey councillors under fire for behavior concerning pandemic travel guidelines


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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


Some items are running out faster than others at food stores in Hope, including fresh produce and meat. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

A woman walks into the Hope Medical Clinic with disposable gloves, and the clinic is asking those with respiratory symptoms to not visit the clinic in person. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Just Posted

Portable washrooms open, campground closed to visitors as district deals with COVID-19

District also working with businesses on ‘voluntary reductions in operations and shutdowns’

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Hope care homes, seniors residences close to visitors

Preventative measures ramped up as COVID-19 found in several B.C. long term care facilities

Hope’s emergency shelter braces for COVID-19

District’s homeless serving organization deals with food shortage scare, preparation at 20-bed shelter

Photographer captures unique images of Silver Skagit mountain lions

Cougar kitten hissed and growled at photographer during encounter

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read