Editorial: Spread the word

This has been a rough year, going directly from a flooding crisis to wildfires raging throughout the province.

We’ve been blessed by all the people, paid crews and volunteers, that worked hard through the floods to keep the city safe, and those that continue to fight fires both across the province and those locally, whose quick responses have knocked down fires before they could grow out of control.

Whether it is concern about loved ones, wanting to help, or just being mesmerized by the awesome power of Mother Nature and the equally awesome men and women fighting to keep us safe, there is an insatiable desire on the part of people to know what is going on.

But one side effect of the news media’s efforts to do a good job covering these back to back disasters is that some people are getting the impression that all of B.C. is going under.

To British Columbians, these are communities we are familiar with: Williams Lake, Princeton, Clinton. To someone farther away, that telescopes into “B.C.”

And that’s a problem for communities like Penticton that count tourism as a major economic driver.

Up until the last few days, Penticton has enjoyed some beautiful blue skies. But not everyone realizes that — hoteliers have had cancellations from people fearing that smoke or fires would ruin their vacation. It goes beyond that since businesses from attractions and restaurants to convenience stores rely on tourists for a major part of their year’s income.

It falls to all of us, from the news media to kids with their cell phones to let the world know that Penticton is open for business, or to use Travel Penticton’s catchphrase “still happening.”

So get out there on social media or whatever you have and let everyone know just what we’ve got to offer in this city and this valley.

#StillHappening, #VisitPenticton, #Penticton