The first five weeks of the fires sparked this summer caused a wide range of revenue losses for tourism operators and small businesses.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) CEO Amy Thacker says their early survey results show revenue losses of 15 to 85%.
“As far out as Bella Coola they were either impacted directly by fires, by road closures, by misinformation in broader news media creating that fear of smoke so there’s quite a wide variety of impacts that we’ve seen which result in less people visiting and spending money in our rural communities.”
Thacker says although she has only received one confirmation of one operator having to close due to the impacts, there are many looking at those options and making tough decisions as business owners right now.
“That’s why the CCCTA board of directors is working so diligently with the provincial and federal government to look at what supports can be put in place to bridge these businesses through to next season so we set them up for success,” she says.
The CCCTA according to Thacker will now rejig the survey and get a full seasonal study out in field shortly so by the end of December they can aim to have complete seasonal impact numbers available.