Details shed light on tourism squabble

The devil is in the details and what has been done to the accommodation industry in Penticton is wrong for at least two reasons.

The devil is in the details and what has been done to the accommodation industry in Penticton is wrong for at least two reasons.

The first reason is that if you dig just a little into the facts that might make the Penticton’s accommodation industry at odds with Tourism Penticton it is that Tourism Penticton is advertising businesses external to the city.

Penticton city council gave Tourism Penticton $354,000 in the 2013 budget process which becomes a significant subsidy to the surrounding accommodation industry.

Tourism Penticton lists as many hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and camping and hostel sites as they can that are not located in Penticton and as far away as Summerland.

Check it out for yourself under the link at www.tourismpenticton.com/places-to-stay.

Also, the citizens and businesses of Penticton paying $354,000 is the same as about $11 for every citizen which is excessive particularly when, as a matter of policy, the tourism industry should be self-funding.

The second reason is that it is really too bad that council doesn’t focus on the right details needed to govern the city.   Instead, at least one member likes to trivialize comments on their actions with references to citizens making mountains out of mole hills and referring to issues as red herrings.

Council’s most recent action stands as another example of the difference between how the people that are supposed to be served by the municipality and those that serve them differ on how the vision for the community is to be achieved.

Penticton’s future should not be primarily shaped by the whims of politicians, the dictates of senior staff or a letter from a lawyer that confirms council’s powers.  Cities should develop based on exchanges of dialogue between government and residents to determine what residents want rather than something that a few self-appointed experts plan.

Wayne Llewellyn

Penticton