Travel and tourism has been severely affected by the pandemic throughout the world, and Houston and Burns Lake are no different with lower than usual numbers for 2020.
This year, Houston saw only 408 people who came in person to the visitor centre compared to last year’s 1004 people during the same month.
The visitor centre was closed from March 16 to June 1 due to the pandemic.
“In-person visits are down, but we are still receiving inquiries via email, phone and social media,” said Maureen Czirfusz, the executive director for the Houston and District Chamber of Commerce in an email to Houston Today.
Czirfusz said that most people who stopped by the centre, asked where to eat, asked for directions, for maps and also inquired about where to go for camping. She also said that most people coming to the centre, were local to B.C.
In Burns Lake, although the overall number of tourists coming by the tourist centre has reduced for the year, for August the numbers were close to last year’s numbers according to the Burns Lake District and Chamber Manager Randi Amendt. With 1300 people stopping by the Burns Lake Visitor Centre in August, that’s just 392 less than last year’s 1692 visitors.
“It probably helped that we had two locations for the visitor centre, and that’s why we recorded so many people,” said Amendt. The visitor centre had set up a secondary location at the Radley Beach Park for the summer months and were also serving ice cream at the location.
The visitor centre numbers however don’t necessarily indicate the overall number of visitors as not everyone who comes through, stops at the information centres for information.