The Agassiz Historical Society has reported low 2017 tourism numbers, likely due to wildfires they say. Nina Grossman/The Observer

The Agassiz Historical Society has reported low 2017 tourism numbers, likely due to wildfires they say. Nina Grossman/The Observer

Report shows impact of summer wildfires on tourism

Agassiz tourism down 30 per cent from last summer

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.”

READ: Tourist cancellations far beyond B.C. wildfire zone

“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.

READ: B.C.’s businesses recover after wildfires

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.

2017 Statistics from the Agassiz Historical Society show the types of visitors who came to the visitor information centre.

2017 Statistics from the Agassiz Historical Society show the types of visitors who came to the visitor information centre.