Tim Flanigan’s recent letter regarding tourism in Harrison Hot Springs made a number of observations and suggestions, concluding that a lack of events is the problem and more events the solution. The reality is always more complex and the fact is that tourism is down this year across the province and Harrison Hot Springs is no exception. There are many reasons for this, including a slow economy discouraging spending and a high Canadian dollar keeping US and European visitors away, while at the same time encouraging Canadians to travel to the US and abroad. There is no question that it is a tough market out there making it a struggle for tourist dependent businesses.
Events are definitely one of the tools we can use to bring people to Harrison and both the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Harrison have been working hard to do just that. Last year the Chamber started Bands on the Beach which is now an annual two day event bringing thousands to Harrison. Earlier this year Tourism Harrison together with the Harrison Festival Society helped to re-establish Sasquatch Days which was a great success and will become an annual event.
Tourism Harrison last year started a Bald Eagle Photo Festival in November that will grow this year and has spent the last two months working on creating a Beer Festival. This is no small undertaking but now with 15 craft breweries signed up we are pleased to announce a Beer Festival and Oktoberfest dance will take place in Harrison on October 26 and 27. To learn more go to www.harrisonbeerfest.com.
Events take a lot of planning, hard work and money. I would suggest to Mr. Flanigan that it’s great to have ideas but if he really wants to help improve tourism in Harrison Hot Springs he should join the Chamber and work with the other business owners that volunteer their time to help make Harrison a more appealing tourist destination.