Letter: Benefit of tourist centre?

I have tried to analyze exactly what benefit the centre will actually provide to overall tourism revenue.

To the editor:

With tourists paying over $3 million in accommodation taxes towards the construction of the planned waterfront tourist centre and local taxpayers on thehook for $2 to 4 million for infrastructure, I have tried to analyze exactly what benefit the centre will actually provide to overall tourism revenue.

Based on a 2011 analysis by Tourism Kelowna (the dollars have increased since then but the percentages would be about the same), the broadbreakdown of tourist spending is: Accommodation 38 per cent, food and beverage 32 per cent, retail shopping 18 per cent, local transportation 7 per centand entertainment 5 per cent.

As a pedestrian-focused centre on the waterfront, I calculate that from this site they would have little or no impact on accommodation, eating (they mightmove people from one restaurant to another, but people will eat anyway), retail and transportation.

Quick math will indicate that to influence 5 per cent of tourist spending in the area we are giving up either a popular parking lot or a beautiful landscapedpark, vistas and millions of tax dollars. And Tourism Kelowna cannot prove that they will get one person more with an intrusive $5 to 7 million projectthan they would leasing a store-front at the foot of Bernard.

 

Don Henderson, Kelowna

 

Kelowna Capital News