The rising costs of fuel may affect vacation plans for some. (Black Press file photo)

The rising costs of fuel may affect vacation plans for some. (Black Press file photo)

EDITORIAL: A time to consider close-to-home vacations

British Columbians want summer celebrations, but fuel costs may change some plans

If the Victoria Day long weekend was any indication, British Columbians are ready for a summer of vacations and festivities.

During the first long weekend of the summer season, there was no shortage of special events, drawing crowds in communities around the province. BC Ferries also prepared for the long weekend with additional sailings on its busiest routes.

The busy long weekend was no surprise. After two years of cancelled or scaled-down festivities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have been longing to get out and celebrate in public spaces once again.

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However, rising fuel prices will likely change the way British Columbians enjoy long weekends, special events and vacation times.

Gasoline is now more than $2 a litre in most of the province, with higher costs in the Lower Mainland and in Victoria. The prices now are significantly more expensive than they were just a few years ago. In the summer of 2019, a litre of regular unleaded gasoline was below $1.35 a litre in the Okanagan Valley. Last summer, prices were around $1.50 a litre.

The jump in the price of fuel is significant and forecasts suggest the cost of filling the tank could increase further before the peak summer tourism season in July and August.

The increasing pump prices will likely have a significant number of people looking for activities and events closer to home.

Fortunately, there are plenty of vacation options close to home in almost every part of this province. Each community and each region has its own festivals, special events and tourism attractions. And, as an added advantage, staying close to home cuts down on travel time, leaving more time to enjoy attractions and amenities.

This is an opportunity for tourism boards and tourist-oriented businesses to promote community attractions to a nearby audience.

People are yearning for recreational opportunities this summer. Staying close to home can help keep these opportunities affordable.

– Black Press

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