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:
news@hopestandard.com

@CHWKcommunity
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BusinessCoronavirusTourism

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

Nahatlatch, Silver Lake and other parks to open Monday, Othello Tunnels stay closed

More options for day-use and camping, starting June 1, in Hope, Fraser Canyon and Manning

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry hails work done to halt outbreak, which saw more than 130 people contract COVID-19

Hope activates emergency operations centre as Fraser River rises

Fraser River reaches 8,500 cubic metres per second at Hope gauge

Chilliwack teachers and EAs concerned with health and safety plans

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Police say Chilliwack driver who flipped car on overpass Sunday was impaired

Witnesses say rollover incident was preceded by vehicle and motorcycles speeding all over town

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Cloverdale youth pastor’s sexual-assault sentencing delayed

Samuel Emerson due to return to Surrey Provincial Court in August

Most Read