Tourism monitors carbon tax

It is in many ways the ultimate money question for the local tourism industry. How will the provincial carbon tax impact ‘rubber’ traffic on which local tourism operators depend so much.

  • Jul. 12, 2011 9:00 a.m.

It is in many ways the ultimate money question for the local tourism industry.

How will the provincial carbon tax impact ‘rubber’ traffic on which local tourism operators depend so much.

The answer, it appears, remains outstanding. With the high price of gasoline already squeezing many budgets, questions about the economic impact of the provincial carbon tax designed to flight change have once appeared in the public discourse. Some background first.

The B.C. Liberals under then-premier Gordon Campbell introduced the carbon-tax in 2008 to combat the effects of climate change.

The tax adds a surcharge on various kinds of carbon-based fuels. It continues to earn criticism  following its introduction from environmentalists — who say it is not high enough and misdirected — and business groups including local fruit growers and other business — who say it has cut into profit margins. This levy — which does not cover all available fuels and sectors of the economy -— recently rose to 4.45 to 5.56 cents per litre as it turned three years old on July 1.

That day also happens to be one of the busiest driving days across the country, including Summerland, where locals officials tracking tourism figures reported to be “really busy” during the Canada Day long-weekend.

Lisa Jaager, general manager of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism, cited improvements in the weather and the end of school as factors for this increase.

She also predicted that Summerland will see another surge of visitors once the Calgary Stampede wraps up later this month.

Less certain though is the impact of the carbon tax on already-high gas prices, which have historically risen during the busy summer travel months.

This latest hike in the provincial carbon tax has also unfolded against the back-drop of political unrest in the Middle East and on-going economic uncertainty in the United States as well as Europe — variables that may all impact the cost of gasoline in the short, medium  and long term with implications for the long-term state of the economy.

Jaager said the chamber pays attention to gas prices because local tourism operators depend on vehicular traffic because tourists cannot reach Summerland any other way.

Whether high gas prices have impacted tourism so far remains an open question.

“At this time, we have not seen an impact yet,” said Jaager, adding that the number of recreational vehicles has so far not visibly declined.


Just Posted

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

Growing cherries, apples, pears — and big pumpkins

Boerboom worked to produce a massive melon from his Summerland farm

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

RDOS issues 405 building permits in first nine months of 2019

Construction activity higher this year than during same period last year

Summerland Steam face North Okanagan Knights in two games

Junior B hockey teams compete in regular season action

Election 2019: Robert Mellalieu — Green Party candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu is running for the Green Party in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Natalie MacMaster makes Okanagan one of two B.C. stops

Queen of the Fiddle in town Oct. 24

Shooters compete in Summerland

Seven youth participants take aim

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Grab your Lederhosen, Penticton Oktoberfest is tomorrow!

The 10th annual event is hosted at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and kicks off Penticton Beer Week

Most Read