Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. (Destination B.C.)

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. (Destination B.C.)

‘Stay local’: B.C. tourism groups back COVID-19 travel ban

Fast-spreading variants make non-essential travel too risky

B.C.’s tourism industry has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but hotels, motels, restaurants, bars and tourist attractions are backing the province’s regional travel ban to give time for more people to be vaccinated.

Non-essential travel is prohibited between B.C.’s Lower Mainland, Interior and Vancouver Island regions, and discouraged even between communities in the same region. Accommodation providers are also declining reservations from outside their region until May 25, to match current public health orders.

“While the tourism and hospitality sector has done an amazing job implementing rigorous health and safety plans to keep its staff and visitors safe, COVID-19 takes every opportunity to spread,” said a joint statement from the B.C. government and industry associations April 23. “Unnecessary travel is too risky right now.”

The statement is signed by Brenda Baptiste, chair of Indigenous Tourism B.C.; Walt Judas, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of B.C.; Ingrid Jarrett, president and CEO, B.C. Hotel Association, Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport; and Richard Porges, interim president of Destination B.C., the province’s international tourism agency.

“Let’s support local businesses today by ordering take-out, eating with our immediate household on a patio, picking up a coffee and enjoying it at a local park, visiting a local attraction or booking a staycation at a local hotel. Now is not the time to travel for leisure and risk spreading COVID-19.”

RELATED: Non-essential travel ban in effect, backed by $575 fines

RELATED: Canada’s COVID-19 reproduction rate slowing down


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

Just Posted

Coldstream Fire Department was quick to arrive and knock down a fire Sunday, May 16, in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Coldstream fire crews quick to knock down blaze

Fire broke out just before 2:30 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road

Crews battled a grass fire behind the Tolko mill along the railway tracks off Otter Lake Cross Road in Spallumcheen Monday, April 26. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star file)
Reports of man lighting Vernon fires with blowtorch

Grassfires sparked near train tracks, behind bottle depot

Frame Custom Homes, based in Kelowna, won top prize, design Excellence, at the Canadian Home Builders' Association's 2021 digital gala May 7, 2021, and best detached custom home over 5,000 square feet for Lakeside Haven in Vernon. (Contributed)
Builder’s custom Kelowna, Vernon homes win national prize

4 bed, 6 bath Vernon home complete with pool, putting green and elevator a Lakeside Haven

A number of undercover RCMP vehicles were spotted at a residence off Westside Road the morning of Tuesday, May 18. (Contributed)
UPDATE: One in custody following Westside firearm standoff

There is no longer a risk to the public but RCMP remain on scene

Christie Tujik (clockwise), Philipp Gruner, Julie Melanson and Jenelle Brewer are vying for a seat on the Vernon School Board. (Contributed)
Vernon school trustee candidates face off in forum

Voters in Vernon, BX and Silver Star can join May 18 virtual meeting

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

A thunderstorm, with lightning, pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fires

WorkSafe BC is out in the Interior making sure wineries, cideries and breweries are adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols. (File photo)
WorkSafe visiting Interior wineries, cideries and breweries ahead of tourist tasting season

40 field inspections and 35 consultations are expected over next few weeks

B.C. RCMP released these two photos of Erick Fryer (left) and Carlo Fryer (right). The two brothers from Kamloops were found dead near a remote road in Naramata May 10, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Slain Kamloops brothers found near Penticton not likely connected to recent B.C. gang wars: RCMP

Police confirm the bodies found near Naramata as Erick Fryer, 29, and Carlo Fryer, 31

Several RCMP cruisers stationed out front of Kelowna’s Global Fitness following a shooting on the morning of Monday, March 29. The shooting was later revealed to be gang-related. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
B.C.’s top gangs are operating in Kelowna: RCMP

‘We have all of the major gangs in Kelowna,’ said Supt. Kara Triance

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News file)
Kelowna RCMP promotion process tainted with bias: federal judge

An officer was passed over for a promotion in 2015

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Most Read