Significant efforts needed to draw tourists

It might be prudent to have a hard look at why precious tourist dollars are heading for other destinations.

Dear Editor:

Before spending millions of dollars promoting tourism, it might be prudent to have a hard look at why those precious tourist dollars are heading for other destinations.

Local businesses have been allowed to deface the natural beauty of the Okanagan with the biggest and ugliest collection of corporate graffiti seen anywhere in Canada.

The preoccupation and overstated concerns associated with the use of pesticides, has allowed dandelions to proliferate to the extent they now represent another major eye sore on our valley.

With no local bans on the use of those pesticides, this issue could be addressed without delay, and very little cost to tax payers.

The non-stop, dawn-to–dusk high noise levels produced by boats, bikes, and motor vehicles with flow-through or no mufflers is nothing short of being obnoxious, and is turning a lot of people off.

The irony is that all that noise is totally unnecessary.

Thanks to powerful long life batteries, high performance electronic gadgets properly fitted should be able to satisfy anybody’s needs for noise and vibrations, without annoying other people.

Growing the population without building transportation infrastructure also carries a huge price tag.

Not being able to get from one place to another in a reasonable length of time eats into your vacation, and the aggressive-bordering-dangerous driving habits that have been allowed to develop, keeps even more people out of the valley.

Family and friends from out of town, out of province and out of country all tell us that the Okanagan has lost a lot of its appeal as a tourist destination, and that there is little motivation to come back.

We tell them to bring their passports.

Gasoline south of the border is only about two-thirds of the rip-off prices we pay here.

With  the dollar at par, competitive prices on goods and accommodation and an increase in purchases we can bring back across the border duty-free, turns a few days south of the border into a paid vacation.

Andy Thomsen

Summerland