A decision by White Rock BIA to cut funding to Tourism White Rock – to focus on other initiatives – rankles some.

Better for business, better for all

Editor:

Re: BIA plans baffle mayor, Oct. 3.

Editor:

Re: BIA plans baffle mayor, Oct. 3.

The news of the White Rock Business Improvement Association’s cut to tourism funding, I believe, is counter-productive to the community’s growth and well-being.

Tourism is often misunderstood and only seen from an economic perspective. Many believe tourism is just about enticing tourists to come to a community, spend their money in local restaurants and shops and then go home. However, tourism, at its core, is about longer-term community sustainability – not only as it relates to economic development but to cultural, social and environmental benefits for the well-being of residents.

It is a given that business needs a healthy economic environment to positively impact a community. If you take away the tourist spending, businesses may not be able to survive. Then it is the residents who suffer, with fewer restaurants, stores and services. It also translates into a smaller tax base and fewer jobs. But perhaps we need to reframe tourism as not just an economic driver?

Tourism, by nature, has the capability of enriching the lives of those living in the community by providing the resources for infrastructure improvements; by reinforcing cultural identify through festivals, arts, theatre and events; by encouraging traditions, heritage and preservation; by supporting sports and well-being, thereby improving our quality of life by enhancing what we love about this place.

White Rock Tourism does not exist solely for the benefit of businesses. Far from it. Tourism, if managed properly, provides much-needed additional economic inputs and, more importantly, provides residents with cultural, social and environmental enrichment.

The funding of Tourism White Rock needs to be recognized as a joint responsibility of not just the business community, but a responsibility of our community’s policy makers and its citizens.

Tourists have many wonderful and exciting destinations to choose from – other than White Rock – for a day-trip or a few days by the sea. If White Rock doesn’t want the added benefits, other communities will gladly take them. And that would be a shame for businesses and residents.

Barbara Smith, Surrey

• • •

As a certified visitor-information counsellor with White Rock Tourism, it was with dismay that I read your article.

Since April, Betina Albornoz and her associate, Anne Fahlman, have hired enough volunteers to staff the beach-side information kiosk seven days a week and keep the office and information centre uptown open five.

We now have a booth at White Rock Farmers’ Market in conjunction with the White Rock Museum and, as a pilot project, brought in the free trolley for the summer to move visitors and locals between uptown and the beach.

We promote and have a presence at most festivals and special events in the city. We promote all businesses in White Rock without bias. We now have a beautiful White Rock Visitors Guide that is being shipped to information centres in not only our province, but also throughout Alberta, Washington State and beyond.

We have our own postcards, which are mailed all over the world. Our website is state-of-the-art and constantly updated to keep visitors, locals and businesses aware of opportunities available in our beautiful “City by the Sea.”

To realize all that has been accomplished in just six short months – and then to hear the BIA is cutting some of Tourism White Rock’s funding – is a travesty.

All summer long, as I spoke to countless visitors, I heard the same thing: “White Rock is one of the most beautiful places in the world, a highlight of our trip. Why are we not promoting overseas as a destination spot?”

All of these things give our White Rock a place on the map, encouraging people to visit here, move here, eat in our restaurants, shop in our boutiques and attend our festivals and special events. Tourism drives economic growth, and isn’t that what the BIA is all about.

Gini VanDer Meulen, Surrey

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GoFundMe started for former White Rock man who suffered hemorrhage in Dubai

Family friend suspects hospital bill to be in the hundreds of thousands

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they’ll meet with ministers if RCMP get out

Federal minister in charge of Indigenous relations has proposed a meeting to diffuse blockades

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Most Read

l -->