To the Editor,
In B.C., we have magnificent scenery, mountains and protected waters.
In past summers, an armada of U.S.-flagged motor launches and yachts of all sizes sailed past Nanaimo on their exploration of the waters of the Salish Sea.
Our hotels and resorts boomed, but fewer and fewer U.S. pleasure boats have appeared in recent years.
I would estimate visits are down by about 90 per cent this year, and our tourist industry seems to be suffering as a result.
Perhaps it is the high cost of gasoline that is putting visitors off. Perhaps it’s the excessively high prices of liquor or, perhaps, it is just the poor U.S. economy.
Certainly things are way down compared with years past.
It seems to me tourism should be encouraged, and I suggest ‘tax-free’ coupons for gasoline and alcoholic beverages be issued to visitors at the border, depending on length of stay and means of transport.
Coupons could only be redeemed at point of sale if a valid passport supported the name on the coupons.
It would cost little and would benefit the entire B.C. tourist industry.