Letters to the Editor

Chamber says district ignoring tourism in Lake Country

Open letter to Lake Country mayor and council:

We note that prominently on the front page of the Oct. 24 Lake Country Calendar newspaper, “Lake Country priorities for economic development” are listed, including: “grow tourism opportunities for the community” and “work with Lake Country businesses  and business owners to explore opportunities for growth.”

As you will recall, the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce has operated the Visitor Centre in Lake Country for more than 10 years.  In August, after lengthy discussion with staff and members of council, we learned that our application for an increase of $5,000 in funding for operation of the Visitor Centre from the district had been rejected, and we were compelled to advise you that the chamber was not able financially to continue with the operation of the Visitor Centre beyond the end of 2012.

It has come to our attention that the District of Lake Country does not intend to operate or assist financially or otherwise with the operation of a Visitor Centre in Lake Country in 2013.

This will mean that Lake Country will have no ability to respond to tourist enquiries or to encourage people to stop in Lake Country to enjoy Lake Country’s many tourist and recreational opportunities in 2013.

We note that we have strong competition from communities on either side of us for the tourist market, and conventional wisdom is that tourism will decline substantially if not promoted appropriately.

We are seriously concerned that this indicates how little regard or understanding the district has for the vital importance of tourism in the economic well being of Lake Country, and we seek an early opportunity to discuss with you how the district intends to support the business community to promote tourism and economic development here in the future.

Marvin Farkas,

president,

Lake Country Chamber of Commerce

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