MLA’s View: Phase 3 brings tourists, and some worry for rural towns

Some good news is on the way as the province has officially entered Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan.

Though there is still a considerable uphill battle for countless industries, business and individuals that are facing financial difficulties, the collective focus on flattening the curve has gotten B.C. to a point where British Columbians are able to again safely travel around the province.

This is great news for the struggling tourism industry, as hotels and resorts and other lodging will be able to resume business.

Yet even given the badly needed economic benefits of a small tourism restart, I understand this also brings with it a level of worry for smaller, rural parts of the province like ours that may not feel comfortable with an increase in visitation.

I understand that sentiment.

This is especially true for towns on major routes that will be seeing an influx in travelers passing through, stopping at shops and buying supplies, taking a break to stretch their legs and enjoying some of our sights.

With that comes excitement as it can mean some much-needed revenue generation but also perhaps some unease as all of a sudden our spaces are filled with summer travelers.

Given that it is important to remember that COVID-19 is not gone, and the direction remains clear from Dr. Bonnie Henry that the same precautions around distancing, hygiene and limiting interactions still apply.

That message has been made clear, and has not changed.

So, as summer begins, and we move towards a slight sense of normalcy, please continue to be diligent and patient with travelers and if you can, go take in some of our beautiful province.

Jackie Tegart is the MLA for Fraser-Nicola.

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