The pandemic majorly restricted travel all over the world but with the restrictions being gradually lifted in the province, and with the arrival of summer, Burns Lake and Houston saw several visitors coming through the towns in the months of June and July.
In June, Burns Lake visitor centre recorded a total of 303 visitors, 56 more than June of 2019. The July numbers for the visitor centre shot up to 2,044 visitors. Last year in the same month, the visitor centre had recorded 3,344 visitors.
Usually, Burns Lake often sees people stopping for specific riding trails or campsites however this year is looking different.
“This year most people that are stopping in here are looking for information on food and beverage as well as just generally any attractions like our hiking maps and stuff,” said the Burns Lake District and Chamber Manager Randi Amendt, who ensures the smooth running of the visitor centre.
This year, the Burns Lake visitor centre office was closed from March until June 1. The visitor centre, located off Hwy. 16, has opened up at one more location for summer. The Radley Beach park booth is stocked up with information, maps and ice cream for travellers and the community.
The Houston Visitor Centre had a lower number of visitors compared to Burns Lake according to the Destination British Columbia reports. In June, the total number of visitors were at 224, a whopping 1,207 lower than last year in the same month. In July the numbers went up slightly to 515 visitors but still a very low footprint compared to 2,408 visitors in July 2019.
The Houston visitor centre had closed its doors to the public from March 16 until June 1 this year due to the pandemic.
The lower numbers this year can definitely be attributed to the travel restrictions with no international visitors and several local B.C. visitors making the stop. The visitor centre numbers also don’t necessarily indicate the overall number of visitors as not everyone who comes through, stops at the information centres for information. However, given the tough times and the wet summer weather it is safe to assume that the overall visitor numbers so far this year have been lower than usual.