Visitor Centre numbers drop in June, steady in July

The number of travellers passing through the Burns Lake Visitor Centre was the lowest in June since 2015, while the numbers for July were comparable to previous years.

In June of this year, 247 people went into the Visitor Centre, followed by 1,072 in July, as Molly Nicholas, Cultural Ambassador at the Centre told Lakes District News.

But in June of 2018 there were 492 visitors, and 1,086 in July of last year, according to Destination British Columbia data.

There were slightly fewer in 2017, when 478 visited in June, and 1,017 in July.

A total of 556 people came through the centre in June of 2016, and 789 in July of that year.

In 2015, there were 897 visitors in June, and 1,484 in July.

The cause of the lower visitor numbers in June of this year wasn’t completely clear, but the cool and wet weather in the Burns Lake region in July evidently didn’t deter many tourists.

One possibility is that more travellers are relying on online tourism information instead of physical visitor centres. That realization spurred the Burns Lake village council to support a mobile tourism vehicle project that would take information about local attractions to the tourists instead of tourists having to visit tourism centres.

READ MORE: Village seeks new mobile tourism vehicle

Despite the lower numbers, those who did make it here said the region made a positive impression on them.

“Many said they would be coming back because they loved it so much. A lot of them say they loved the beauty of it. They liked all the lakes, because a lot of them liked to go fishing,” said Katrina Vanderwolf, Information Manager at the Centre.

“A lot of people are surprised and excited when I tell them the camping is free. Many are surprised that they haven’t heard of Burns Like before. ‘Why isn’t this advertised more?’ they said.”

Demographically, the largest group of visitors was B.C. residents and other Canadians, followed by Europeans, then Americans, and then people from Asia and Australia. A fair number of Brazilians came through as well, Vanderwolf said.

Other than seeking general information about the area, many also inquired about the local mountain biking opportunities.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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