Tourism businesses slow during wildfire season

Summerland wineries, visitor centre affected as tourists ask questions about vacations

As fires continue to burn, tourism-related businesses are noticing a drop in business.

Shannon Brilz, visitor centre coordinator at the Summerland Chamber of Commerec’s Visitor Information Centre, said potential visitors have been calling the centre, asking about the effects of the wildfires and considering whether to cancel their plans to vacation in B.C. this summer.

RELATED: BC Wildfire Service making progress on Okanagan wildfires

Donta Dyer, coordinator of Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive association of wineries, said the fires have kept some visitors away.

She said one winery alone experienced a 60 per cent drop in visitor numbers during the worst of the wildfires in July.

Julian Scholefield, president of Bottleneck Drive, said the news coverage of the wildfires has had an impact on visits to Summerland’s wineries.

“People tend to see the headlines and not come out to the Okanagan,” he said.

“We definitely had a slow weekend last weekend.”

RELATED: Fire near Naramata now classified as ‘held’

When evacuation orders were in place in the Garnet Valley area of Summerland and in a portion of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards was under evacuation, but is now open once again.

Okanagan Crush Pad was also affected, since one of the vineyards is in Garnet Valley. However, the winery itself was not closed due to wildfires.

Dyer said the recent fires have not been as bad as the discussions may indicate.

“It’s not that the whole valley is on fire,” she said.

RELATED: Fire ecologist advocates prescribed burns

“The entire Okanagan is open and welcoming everybody.”

Brilz would like to pass the same message on to tourists considering a trip to Summerland.

“We’re still open and there is lots to do,” she said.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Update: Highway 3 west of Keremeos open to alternating traffic

Details scarce about collision that has closed Highway 3 west of Keremeos

Behind the mask of the South Okanagan furries community

Penticton furries community member said it’s not a sexual thing

NHL alumni and Canadian country music stars gearing up for Okanagan charity extravaganza

A two-day May weekend event combines, hockey, golf, country music and a whole lot of fun

Festival planned for Easter weekend

Organizers preparing 10,000 eggs for hunt at Summerland’s Easter Egg-stravaganza

VIDEO: Men strut their stuff in Underwear Show for Penticton triathlete

Clients of Okanoggin Barbers strutted their stuff to raise funds for Ironman athlete Jen Annett

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Okanagan librarian delves into trio of titles

Book Talk: Dark Matter, Lincoln’s Dreams and The Jealous Kind

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Indigenous students recognized at ceremony at Okanagan College

The ceremony recognizes that students are getting an education while holding onto Indigenous background and teachings

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read