Trouble in tourism

Letters

Every year for 10 years there has been some major occurrence that stifles tourism, and it continues.

First it was 9-11 in 2001. No flying, no travel. Then in rapid succession, came SARS, Mad Cow, forest fires, recession, exchange rates, HST, and now in 2011 the riots in Vancouver.

The final straw for my type of tourism offerings in Kayak Mothership in the Queen Charlottes and kermode bear expeditions in the Great Bear Rain Forest was for the Olympic committee to choose the numbnuts Inukshuk symbol over the kermode bear as logo of the 2010 Olympics. Those rocks have absolutely nothing to do with British Columbia but the kermode (white spirit bear) is indigenous to B.C. where there are only 50~80 of them on the Earth and right here in B.C.

It could have been real beneficial to us operators to use the kermode bear as logo for the Olympics. So that was very disappointing.

But now an even bigger deterrent to tourism has happened with the HST. Previously we were exempt PST and now we have to add on 7 per cent more and it absolutely kills the business. If there were ever a chance for profit it would go to the government instead. Nail in the coffin. The only resurrection would be to continue the previous exemption. My charters are dead.

When presenting the tab for sushi to foreigners I apologize for the outrageous amount of tax. It’s embarrassing. Businesses hope to operate with a 15 per cent profit margin but with 12 per cent to government leaves nothing for us.

Every year, I say every year, something happens to interfere with tourism. It’s almost like standing back and saying what’s next? Riots in Vancouver. Thanks a lot. I give up. Anybody want to buy a couple very special boats?

“Capt Ralph” – Ralph Hull

Sooke