FILE – A B.C. Ferry is seen arriving at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver on March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

FILE – A B.C. Ferry is seen arriving at Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver on March 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

‘Can’t afford to lose another summer’: B.C. tourism group supports COVID travel rules

Details of new measures expected to be released Friday

The organization representing tourism operators in B.C. said they’re “supportive” of new travel measures announced Monday (April 19) to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Walt Judas, CEO of Tourism Industry Association of BC, said the group has been working with the province on trying to get a handle on the pandemic, which in B.C. has reached record-breaking heights in recent weeks.

Judas said that while the association would not want to see a travel ban, they are hoping the more stringent measures – details of which are expected Friday – will help operators turn away out-of-region travellers.

He said that prior pleas and recommendations to stay local were “open to interpretation” in a way he hopes the new order will not be. While details of the new orders were not announced Monday, Premier John Horgan did provide some clues.

“If you live in the Fraser Health area, by all means, take a few days, get outside, perhaps go to a campground in your local area but do not try and book somewhere outside of your area because a tourism operator in that community will not book you passage.”

The travel restrictions will be in place through at least the May long weekend, and will include “random audits” of people travelling between health regions.

Judas said the clarity expected Friday will help tourism operators by giving them government backing.

“We can also say unequivocally now to our guests who are planning to book some travel to British Columbia: Why are you travelling here? Are you aware of the official order that’s in place?” Judas said.

“There are lots of things that we can communicate, that was really more difficult to communicate before.”

He also urged people to not take liberties, even when allowed, with the restrictions by travelling from one edge of a health authority to another.

Judas said the reaction has been mixed.

“Not everybody will like it. Not everybody will be in agreement,” he said. “But on the other hand, I think from what we’ve heard, tourism operators are very fearful that we’re going to lose another summer, or see more stringent restrictions come summer unless we do something today.”

For people looking to explore their local region over the next few weeks, Judas had a few messages: “Stay local, shop local, support local, follow the order and stay home, stay as close to home as possible.”

READ MORE: Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

READ MORE: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirustravel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Westbound traffic is slow moving on Highway 1 following a crash that has police blocking one lane. Google Maps screenshot taken at 9:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Crash on North Parallel Road causes road closure, single westbound Highway 1 lane blocked

Abbotsford Police investigating, roads closed between McDermott and No. 3 Road

Kassandra Clack of Abbotsford has been named one of 18 finalists in the Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search, taking place in June.
Fraser Valley country singer Kassandra Clack a finalist in national talent search

18 finalists vie to win Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search in June

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

This vehicle is suspected of being involved in a suspicious incident on Friday (May 7) on Mouat Drive in Abbotsford.
Driver in Abbotsford tries to lure teen girl into his vehicle

Man tells 14-year-old that her mom sent him to pick her up

Michael Proud, a clinical nurse educator at Mission Memorial Hospital, standing outside the hospital. Patrick Penner photo.
Local nurses shine perspective on the last year through COVID-19

Stressors, challenges and successes on the pandemic’s front line

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Most Read