John Snyder was supposed to leave for his camping trip this Tuesday, heading from his home in Fanny Bay to the Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge/Cape Mudge Resort on Quadra Island, but decided to cancel.
“We could probably try to see what would happen in Campbell River but we just thought given the spirit of the orders and everything else it would just be best to cancel and stay home,” he told CHEK News Saturday.
The Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge/Cape Mudge Resort, located at the south end of Quadra Island is in the Island Health region, which is the same as Fanny Bay and under new restrictions set out by the provincial government on Friday, travel within a health authority region is allowed.
But while travel may be allowed within a health region, officials are also strongly suggesting people stay home unless travel is essential, which is why Snyder and his wife are staying put.
“Considering the high case counts and what the healthcare workers are going through we just decided to stay home,” Snyder said.
Snyder wasn’t the only one cancelling his reservations at the resort
“Well, I probably had 50 RV’s cancel and probably at least 30 cottages,” said Helen Chickite, the resort’s manager.
That’s for the next five weeks, and all of those cancellations came from Vancouver Islanders including Campbell River, just a short ferry ride away.
“Some of them saying they didn’t really feel comfortable with the restrictions being a bit unclear and then coming to the ferry and being turned away,” said Chickite.
Chickite says the Cape Mudge Resort supports the current travel restrictions, which they hope will mean they can re-open for a busy summer.
But it isn’t just resorts and places that offer accommodations that have Vancouver Island tourism officials here concerned.
“What I worry about, [and what] keeps me up at night, is what I call activity providers or experience providers,” said Anthony Everett, president of Tourism Vancouver Island. “So whale watching, kayak operators, wild-play parks or Horne Lake Caves or Butchart Gardens, all these things are the reasons people come.”
Everett said many of these operators were just gearing up to start their summer season and that many calls for bookings across the Island began on Monday. He said, however, that he is encouraged because the majority of people have asked to rebook their reservations instead of cancelling.
“There were a lot more rebookings than cancellations, which is a relief to the industry,” he said. “But a lot of people will be hurting over the next five weeks with heavy revenue losses so I think my message today is if you can rebook, rebook.”