Tourist booth

Resident expresses concerns about Vernon's plans for visitor information

Having written a letter previously expressing my opinion on the relocation of the tourist booth with the advantage of my experiences from a recent RV cross Canada trip, I read John Raikes letter with interest.

With regards to RV pilots checking their laptop or tablet via Wi-Fi, this may come as a surprise, but Canada is not covered from sea to shinning sea by Wi-Fi access.

The smarter tourism booths at the entrance to towns provide Internet access. On our trip with two other RV units, we had done all of the pre-planning with the BCAA booklets and Internet, and knew in advance the main attractions we wished to visit and knew pretty much in advance where we would be camping. But we always called in at the tourist booths before entering a town to ascertain what was worth seeing/doing locally.

I can assures anyone that the last thing an RV pilot wants is to drive into the centre of a town with their unit. They will just bypass any town that imposes this on visitors as they prefer to park their unit and then explore the local attractions in a smaller vehicle (a VW camper was part of our small group) or their towing vehicle after setting up the larger units.

What the city has to do is accommodate both those who choose to travel in RVs and those who travel by automobile using hotels/motels, as given the price of gas there is little difference now in the cost of using a large RV or travelling by car using hotels/motels, and I suspect the number of tourists is split fairly evenly over both groups.

Given the importance of tourism in B.C., one hopes that some bureaucrat or business group with a vested interest hasn’t made a business case that it costs less to operate one tourist office in town than two at the main entrances to the city as this will only alienate the RVers.

Surely the hotels and restaurants who profit from tourists and businesses who run campgrounds and attractions that are utilized by both groups of tourists can get together on this and finance the operation of both tourism booths and an office disseminating tourist information electronically which could be located anywhere including one of the present locations.

Perhaps the city should not even be involved in spending taxpayers dollars on tourist offices and restrict its activities to providing the basics such as adequate quantities of good water, roads, sewer and parks.


Brian Sutch