Tourism

Canada Day turnout bodes well for tourism in Kelowna, BC – Okanagan

The first Canada Day with no restrictions due to COVID-19 turned out to be the biggest event Kelowna, BC has seen in years, boosting the outlook for the travel industry.

“By all accounts, I think it’s been a great start to the tourist season and I think this summer is likely to be the busiest summer we’ve ever seen,” said Colin Basran, mayor of Kelowna.

“I think the message to everyone who visits our city is that we want you to be here, we want you to have fun, but come and act accordingly.”

Statistics Canada reports that the country’s tourism industry’s GDP shrank by almost 50 percent in 2020. Now, with unlimited summer ahead, tourist attractions are already getting busier, and Canada Day is proof of that.

READ MORE: A great start to Kelowna’s tourist season

“We started right away with a jump. We usually had somewhere between 30 [minute] up to 2 hours of waiting all day long,” Jared Lee, co-owner of the central kitchen and bar. “But it was stable, people came out. It’s nice to see people having fun.”

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Kelowna’s Smile Bike Tours, which offer the chance to get around the city to visit all your favorite restaurants, have shown a similar trend.

“We had a lot more tours, yesterday was all day in a row and it’s very exciting for us because we all love being here, we love that COVID restrictions are lifted,” said Sonia Ruewekamp, ​​Smile Cycle. Guide.

Rueevkamp added that many of the Friday tour participants came from all over Canada, with more and more as the summer progresses.

There has already been a surge in international visitors this year, according to Statistics Canada. About 800,000 Americans visited Canada in April this year, eight times more than in April 2021.

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