I have heard many people comment on tourism in the community since my arrival here in February of 2011. Most of the comments appear to focus on the fact that they are “not involved” in the tourism industry so it does not really affect them.
So, when Tourism Wells Gray conducted the 2012 “Tourism Economic Impact Study,” it was important to us that we had a better understanding of the financial implications of tourism to all residents, not just those directly involved with the industry.
One of the most visible and measurable ways in which we are all effected by tourism is the amount of money that travelers bring to the community and the wages they help pay.
During the summer approximately 15 per cent of the population is actively employed servicing the tourism industry in one way or another.
Many of these jobs are within businesses that focus on accommodation and food and beverage service. However, there are also a large army of people who work behind the scenes in areas such as landscaping, engineering, accounts, housekeeping, cooking, dishwashing, maintenance, electrical, plumbing, driving and retail.
All of these jobs increase during the tourist season, bringing much needed additional revenue to the community.
The continued success of tourism within our community enables hotels, resorts, campsites, bed-and-breakfasts, and restaurants to purchase supplies, hardware, plants, equipment and lumber to either repair, improve or expand their business.
A successful business has employees that pay taxes and own or rent homes in our community. Their property taxes ensure that our community keeps growing and provides a safe and desirable place to call home, and when the forestry, mining or the fishing industry enters yet another downward trend, tourism will be here keeping the lights on!
It is estimated the labor contribution from the tourism sector in 2011 to the local and provincial economy from tourism businesses within the District of Clearwater and Thompson Nicola Regional Area “A” as per the Tourism Wells Gray-2012 Economic Impact Study is:
• total income in excess of $2.4 million
• total income tax in excess of $440,000
• total CPP contributions in excess of $121,000
• total EI contributions in excess of $44,000
– Brad Bradbury is marketing manager with Tourism Wells Gray