The Agassiz Harrison Historical Society presented numbers showing decreased summer tourism to the District of Kent at council a meeting Nov. 15.
With 3,171 visitors coming into the Agassiz Visitor Information Centre between May 20 and Dec. 6 of this year, visitation was down 30 per cent from 2016.
“Disasters like the B.C. wildfires are unpredictable events with ripple effects that no doubt had an impact on local tourism,” reads the report. “The Agassiz Visitor Information Centre was one of many visitor centres that experienced a declined visitation from B.C. and Washington State travelers.”
“Specifically July, August and September saw significant decreases, suggesting that the B.C. wildfires and the smoke that engulfed the Kent (and other) regions affected local travel.”
Of the 2017 visitors, 44 per cent were from other parts of B.C., 26.4 per cent were locals and 6.1 per cent were from other provinces in Canada.
The report also mentions that most visitors ask for maps of the area and/or directions to Harrison Hot Springs, Vancouver or hiking/biking trails in the area. The Historical Society recommends that better local maps of Kent/Agassiz are produced, printed and distributed at the Visitor Information Centre.