Tourism looking strong

Flood and smoke aren’t stopping tourists from exploring the North Okanagan.

City of Vernon officials are pleased overall with the tourism season despite weather-related challenges and the negative media they have fuelled.

“Some of our hotels and motels in the valley have great occupancy and are pacing on par or better than 2016, but others are experiencing cancellations,” said Ange Chew, tourism manager.

“Lake activities are down 20 to 30 per cent but then we have growth in other sectors of 30 per cent increases. Most other activities are on par, or slightly ahead or behind. We definitely have had cancellations but have been able to pick up and fill with last-minute drive traffic.”

Figures for June aren’t in yet, but Chew is anticipating it will be on par or a bit stronger than 2016.

However, Chew admits marketing the region has been difficult due to media coverage of wildfires in B.C.

“Not all of B.C. is burning but the state of emergency and international news have unfortunately lead visitors to believe all of B.C. is affected, along with challenges about accurate access route information, will probably lead to lower room tax numbers in July and August compared to 2016,” she said, adding, though, that September will be strong with the BC 55+ Games.

Along with other agencies in the region, Tourism Vernon has been getting the message out to the media and visitors that the area is open for business.

“Overall visitation to Vernon is holding and we are hoping for a strong extended summer finish with the skies clearing and lake activities back to normal,” said Chew.

Just Posted

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

Traffic delays between Vernon and Coldstream

Work on Kalamalka Lake Road may slow motorists down

Woman faces second impaired driving charge

Vernon woman came in to deal with first charge from May when a strong odour of liquor was detected

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Inmate suing Okanagan Correctional over alleged assault

Inmate claims an officer grabbed him by the throat and threw him onto the bed

Most Read