Areas inside of the Regional District of Mount Waddington are discouraging tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Gazette file photo)

Areas inside of the Regional District of Mount Waddington ask tourists to stay away

‘Visit later seems to fit’

More and more places inside the Regional District of Mount Waddington are starting to publicly discourage tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alert Bay, in conjunction with the ‘Namgis First Nation, actually went a step farther than just discouraging tourism by issuing a news release stating that “no pleasure or tourist travel is permitted to Cormorant Island. We are a friendly community and we value visitors and tourists, however, with the current health crisis, we ask that you visit another time.”

According to the release, Cormorant Island is a “isolated, remote community with limited resources and we are taking extreme precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our community members.”

Both Port McNeill and Port Alice have also issued news releases discouraging tourism during the pandemic.

Port Alice released their’s first, noting the village would like to ask tourists to “avoid visiting our community during this time. As a small community we need to focus on keeping our essential service workers and residents as safe as possible, especially considering the limited medical resources we have in Port Alice.”

The release also noted that many services in the village have already closed “to support the directives set in place by the Province so we do not have accommodation available in our community or in the campsites and parks that surround our area. We will be happy to welcome you back to our community as soon as it is safe to do — please do your part to keep yourself and our community healthy!”

Port McNeill then followed suit in discouraging tourism shortly after.

“The COVID Pandemic (Coronavirus) us living in a strange world,” stated the Town of Port McNeill’s news release. “We are saying and doing things we might not otherwise do. One of them is asking you (tourists) not to come and explore our region… until later.”

The release added that there have been strict guidelines issued by the Province of BC around how many can gather, when to self-isolate and on social distancing, and “though you might think it’s a good idea to get away from it all and social distance here, we are asking you not to do so at this time.”

According to the town’s release, “Our hospitals are small and unable to handle more than the basic emergency. We don’t have an operating room for injuries that may occur while you are on holidays. Each hospital is equipped with a single ventilator.”

To conclude, the town stated that “Because our community is remote, we are doing our very best to minimize the risk to our residents. Your visit could introduce the virus to an area where it may not currently exist. Though some hotels may be open, we do not have the capacity to serve you. Our Visitor Information Centre is closed, our parks and campgrounds are closed and the few restaurants open are take-out only. There are no tours to partake in. The local grocery store is doing their best to meet our own demand, but that is probing to be difficult at times. We appreciate your interest and want to be able to give you the best visitor experience possible. We are asking you to stay home until the COVID crisis passes and visit at a later date when we will welcome you wholeheartedly and show you all Port McNeill has to offer.”

Meanwhile, the District of Port Hardy has not issued any release regarding the discouraging of tourism as of press time.

Chief Administrative Officer Allison McCarrick did state to the North Island Gazette that they haven’t directly been advertising it, but they are definitely advocating to follow all Provincial and Federal recommendations and orders.

“Tourism Port Hardy and NVI Tourism are promoting #visit later so rather than saying ‘don’t come’, I think our message is more that with our small community comes smaller infrastructure, businesses, staff, etc. so if something were to happen and we had too many non-residents here at this time it could be even more challenging. Visit later seems to fit.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three weekly direct flights from Port Hardy to Vancouver starting June 1

Direct between Bella Bella and Vancouver not resuming at this time

UPDATE: Local taxi company applying to opertate north island bus route

Waivin’ Flags Taxi wants to operate Route 5 between Cambpell River and Port Hardy

Change in service: Port Hardy is switching from bi-weekly garbage pick up to weekly schedule

The cost for the weekly garbage pick up service is an additional $30.12 annually.

Cancelling bus service between Campbell River and Port Hardy will compromise health access, region warns

Mount Waddington Health Network says transportation primary factor for rural health access

Badinotti makes cash donations to North Island food banks

‘it’s fantastic that they are supporting community organizations like this’

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read