I would like to weigh in on the question of the 4th St. upgrade and beautification slated for Sept. 2012. The reality of lower visitor numbers in 2011 and now more pronounced in 2012 has many business owners, including myself, deeply concerned. As told in the attached files, visitor count on BC Ferries show the largest decrease in 13 years! The gov't report on tourism 2011 shows declines since 2009. I would be very interested to see this years report, because although we in Tofino were not affected as quickly as the rest of the province, in fact we had a good 2010 season...2011 and 2012 have now caught up to the general declining trend.
In 1985-1995 we had a cafe in Hawaii. What sank tourism then, and why I came to Tofino in 1995 to buy the Alleyway Cafe, was the Japanese Yen and Canadian dollar fell against the American. This large segment of tourists looked at a 25% increase to the cost of their holiday, and stopped coming. CDN and YEN remained depressed, Hawaii was already pricing itself out of the market and did not recover from this huge drop in traffic/ revenue for years and years.
With America's Great Recession, and now Europe's financial woes, added to the beginning of a prolonged Retirement Boom in Canada from 2009 onward...see Statistics Canada, people are more cautious with their finances. Tourism is based on discretionary spending, and the demographics are against us as is being reported by business here in Tofino.
The 4th Street upgrade will improve the entrance to our Village. If we are looking at paving anything, what about Main Street first. And the look of the fire department in the heart of the village is a disgrace...just paint it a nice bright colour for now. Tofino had the great good fortune in that Tourism Tofino did an excellent job of marketing from its inception. This we assume, will continue and the District within its mandate and with input from the business community is called to efficient use of the AHRT funds.
editor's note: unable to attach files.working on links