Steve Smith is part of Tourism Matters, and he says resort operators will need more help, if they're going to survive the pandemic.
"It takes a whole winter to build up that clientele, and a ton of money and advertising. The announcement today (Thursday), they just gave us -- what -- not even 12 hours notice? Pretty hard to fill a camp that way, especially with Canadians," he said.
Yesterday afternoon, provincial cabinet minister Greg Rickford announced resorts and lodges could take bookings from visitors in the district, as well as Manitoba. The minister added it wasn't within his jurisdiction to reopen the international border with the United States.
However, Smith says this would include about six of his 450 visitors from last year, as the others would be Americans.
"Most tourist operators up here would probably run 90 per cent U.S. clientele. We go down to the States, and some tourist operators go to 10 to 12 different expos a year to recruit people," Smith noted.
Operators have a rally planned for June 13 in Vermilion Bay. Smith says many of the 200 camp owners interested in attending may not survive, if their summer season is scrubbed. While the federal government has offered wage subsidies, Smith says it doesn't help operators, who can't afford to hire staff this season. He noted insurers haven't been granting reductions in their rates, due to the lack of business and activity.
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