VICTORIA (July 22, 2020) – BC Liberals are calling for immediate tourism industry support as NDP inaction is pushing local tourism operators like Vancouver-based Landsea Tours & Adventures to the brink of collapse as they try to keep their doors open after the pandemic.
“The tourism sector is facing the loss of 130,000 family-supporting jobs this year alone and the NDP are sitting idly by instead of laying out a plan to support this industry,” said Michelle Stilwell, BC Liberal Co-Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture. “These businesses rely nearly exclusively on seasonal tourism and missing the summer season this year means many small businesses will no longer be operational in 2021.”
Landsea Tours & Adventures typically hosts more than 120,000 visitors annually and employs over 130 people at this time of the year yet because of the pandemic, their workforce has been reduced to only two staff members. They have been forced to sell their office, shop, and yard space they operated from, and have also started selling vehicles to stay afloat.
“The bills are still coming in but there’s no money coming. I am baffled by the delay to act by this government,” said Kevin Pearce, president and owner of Landsea Tours & Adventures. “We had to close our doors on March 16 and have had zero revenue for the past 18 weeks. An economic recovery plan for tourism is desperately needed now.”
“For months, thousands of tourism operators in the province have struggled to operate without revenue and, without a recovery plan in place from this government, it’s no longer sustainable. The NDP continues to delay on a recovery plan when the obvious solutions are right in front of their faces,” added Doug Clovechok, BC Liberal Co-Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture. “The NDP needs to say when Landsea Tours and other tourism operators expect to see an economic recovery plan from this government. They cannot wait any longer.”