Creston Mayor Ron Toyota and Visitor Centre manager Amy Maddess at the Visitor Centre on Monday morning.

Tourism Week kicks off in Creston with influx from U.S.

Web Lead

  • Jun. 1, 2016 11:00 a.m.

The timing could not have been better for Tourism Week. American tourists were arriving at the Creston Visitor Centre in droves as they took advantage of the U.S. Memorial Day long weekend to cross over into Canada.

“It started on Friday,” Visitor Centre manager Amy Maddess said on Monday. “I would say 70 to 80 per cent of our visitors were Americans, and not just from Idaho. Many were from the southeast U.S., including Mississippi and Kansas.”

Maddess was joined at her workplace on Monday morning by Mayor Ron Toyota, who was responding to Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Shirley Bond’s challenge to B.C. mayors,

“We encourage you to select a local visitor centre, major attraction, resort, gift shop, transit hub or another high-profile location to work alongside staff and volunteers to meet with and service visitors to your community for one hour that day,” Bond said in a letter to B.C. mayors in April. “We sincerely hope that you will be part of this unique and exciting endeavor. Thank you for helping to build tourism into one of B.C.’s leading and sustainable industries, and for supporting Tourism Week, May 29-June 4, 2016.”

Toyota spent two hours at the Visitor Centre on Monday morning, and said he enjoyed meeting visitors, many of whom expressed surprise to be greeted by the mayor.

The influx of visitors from the U.S. isn’t only due to the weakened Canadian dollar, which makes Canada a great value for international tourists.

“It has a lot to do with how much promotion Americans do for the International Selkirk Loop,” said Maddess. “Canada doesn’t spend much money on its promotion, but the Americans spend millions — they think it is really important.”

The International Selkirk Loop is a scenic 450 kilometre drive that meanders around a circular route through eastern Washington, northern Idaho and southeastern British Columbia, running through Sandpoint, Nelson and Creston, and other smaller communities. It is one of only 32 designated National Scenic Byways in the U.S.

“The Selkirk loop needs to be on every traveller’s bucket list,” says RV America Magazine.

Just Posted

BWC applies for federal money on homelessness plan

Dara Sutton spoke to council on Oct. 16.

Fernie in last stages of cleanup from damages caused by ammonia leak

Community memorial service in the works for 3 victims of Fernie Memorial Arena ammonia leak

WATCH: Steps being made to extract ammonia, say experts

City workers and family members spoke to media today

Speaking Earth provides guests with totally unique Ktunaxa experience

Paul Rodgers There is a painting and quote of Elder Mary Paul… Continue reading

One injured in Cranbrook stabbing

Shortly before midnight, Cranbrook RCMP were called to a report of a… Continue reading

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

Crawford Bay celebrates new playground

A grand opening for the renovated site is set for Sunday afternoon

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Most Read