To the editor:
I have been following the discussion of the Visitor Centre in Kelowna with great interest.
Our family has been involved in the accommodation business in Kelowna since the late 1960s, and have owned a hotel in the downtown, directly across from City Park, for the past 29 years.
The Visitor Centre in our community is critical to the tourism sector. It is obvious that tourism has and continues to be critical to the economy of our city. The recession of the past five years has created difficulty for those of us in the hospitality industry, but through it all, the Visitor Centre has been critical in driving much needed business to our hotel. We own resorts and hotels in other communities in British Columbia, and in all cases, including Kelowna, the Visitor Centres are the face of the destination for visitors.
The other issue of note is that a new Visitor Centre in Kelowna must have a strategic location. Again, in other communities, highway visitor centres are seeing declining usage, even those new, attractive sites that have been established.
The research indicates that visitor centres should be situated in downtown locations where both visitors and residents tend to migrate. The proposed sit in the Queensway Jetty parking lot seems ideal—a location that will best benefit tourists, businesses and residents. I strongly urge support of the present proposal.
Prestige Hotels and Resorts,