“Tourism Downturn: Tofino’s Economy Under Strain as More Cancellations Roll In”

# Cancellations Cause Significant Stress on Tofino’s Economy

The Cameron Bluffs wildfire, which shut down Highway 4, has caused significant financial stress on Tofino’s economy. The district’s businesses have been dealing with cancellations since the wildfire started. The highway was expected to reopen soon, but at a provincial update on Tuesday, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming stated that it would remain closed for at least another week.

## Impact on Local Businesses

The announcement of the highway’s reopening to single-lane alternating traffic on June 24, with only essential travel being recommended, has only increased the number of cancellations. Myles Beeby with Hotel Zed Tofino reported a drop from 100% occupancy for the upcoming weekend to only 10-12%. The cancellations are causing huge revenue losses, and some workers are ineligible for employment insurance, causing additional financial stress.

Krissy Montgomery, owner of Surf Sister, said that people are nervous and have cancelled lessons until the end of the month. Even people at the beginning of July are starting to inquire and wonder about cancellation policies.

## Mayor’s Concerns

Tofino’s Mayor Dan Law says tourism is a significant part of the local economy, and the district relies on visitors to come to the area. He added that the province needs to clarify what it means by “recommended essential travel” so travellers know for sure if they can take the highway once the single lane opens up.

## Clarification from the Ministry of Transportation

In a late afternoon interview with CHEK News, the Ministry of Transportation clarified that when the highway reopens to a single lane on June 24, it will be open to everyone, including tourists. However, there will be delays, and people can expect lineups up to a kilometre in each direction. The highway will remain a single lane for several weeks until the ministry can be sure the danger from the falling rocks and trees has been eliminated. The ministry is hoping to fully reopen the road by mid-July. Until that happens, travel on the detour route is still open for essential use only.

## Alternative Transportation and Options for Cancellations

Law is asking travellers to consider other forms of transportation to Tofino, including flying. Those having to cancel their trips are being encouraged to either re-book or collect a voucher to reschedule a future trip.

The cancellations are causing significant stress on Tofino’s economy, and the district is looking for ways to make it work. The province needs to provide clarity on the meaning of “recommended essential travel” to help travellers plan their trips accordingly.

READ MORE: Highway 4 should fully reopen mid-July, says minister.

Leave a Comment