EDITORIAL: Tourism vital for district

Coldstream must keep its tourism committee

With tourism an increasingly important part of the local economy, Coldstream must remain focused.

Initially, the September meeting was going to be cancelled because of a lack of agenda items, but thankfully, it will continue as the mandate of the group is reviewed.

“It’s a good idea to let them speak up and see what they can bring forward,” said Coun. Glen Taylor, committee chairperson.

Activities have stalled because the committee has handled all of the matters presented by council, but there is so much more than could be done.

The future focus of the committee could include an inventory of tourism businesses and their needs, while also consulting with the public on the use of the Okanagan Rail Trail, including land on Kalamalka Road purchased for trail amenities.

Another item that will also have serious implications for tourism is the fate of the West Kal and Kinloch boat launches.

“They may have a different perspective on canoe or kayak only, or motorized (vessels),” said Coun. Pat Cochrane.

Input from those in the tourism sector will also be critical as bed and breakfasts pop up in residential neighbourhoods so any potential conflicts are addressed, while the committee could also offer advice on marketing Coldstream as a destination either on its own or in conjunction with Vernon.

There is a need for Coldstream to take tourism seriously as it can create employment and diversify the tax base.

But for that to occur, a process to address tourism is required and that means keeping the tourism committee viable.