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Vernon’s tourism sector fared relatively well in 2023 despite fires “destroying peak season” – Vernon Matters

Feb 28, 2024

Officials say the local tourism industry faced some major challenges with the past summer’s extreme weather events, but still fared relatively well.

Claus Larsen, chair of the Tourism Commission, presented Tourism Vernon’s annual report at Vernon city council’s regular meeting Monday, Feb. 26.

He said the tourism sector faced many challenges last year.

“In 2023 we started off with having several labour shortages and interest rates [affecting] the cost of food, cost of gas. All resulted in higher costs of travel, which, of course, curbs everybody’s discretionary spending which they normally use on travel,” Larsen stated.

“Then of course we had the dreaded wildfires in the region which resulted in a travel ban, which was very short. It was only three days before it got retracted, but it literally destroyed our peak season, especially the corporate sector which is meetings, events, corporate groups, things to that effect. It more or less stopped dead in its tracks and never came back and the risk is that it’s going to have spill-over effects over the next few years as well.”

Despite those issues, Larsen said tourism, in general, still fared well.

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