The fishing tourism sector took a significant hit in 2020 due to travel restrictions impacting travellers that would normally venture to BC from the US. Further issues were encountered in July when the BC Government shut down a popular Haida Gwaii fishing lodge, The West Coast Fishing Club, due to an increase in cases in the local area despite none of those cases originating at the lodge itself.
Brian Legge, the club’s president, went on record to say the decision to restrict access to Haida Gwaii effectively forced the fishing lodge to shut down.
In a season when fishing lodges were already struggling, this sort of blanket action cast a real threat into what is normally a thriving business at this time of year. While in the past a fish shortage may have caused problems for those offering fishing charter packages
Despite these setbacks, the BC fishing tourism sector looks on track to achieve a healthy rebound.
“We’re following all WorkSafeBC and B.C. Ministry of Health guidelines,” says Wade Dayley of Wicked Salmon in Port Hardy, a division of Bear Cove Cottages & Sport Fishing. “We’re using common sense and social distancing on the boats and masks and gloves.”
“We aim to provide customized, luxurious travel packages which never disappoint,” stated George Cuthbert, owner and operator of King Pacific. “At King Pacific Lodge, we will help plan an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind fishing vacation.”
In the past, the King Pacific Lodge has relied on US tourists booking a stay at their world-class floating resort to keep business afloat throughout the season.
With travel restrictions still firmly in place, west coast fishing tourism is encouraging more Canadians to book a staycation and take advantage of the excellent fishing opportunities available in their own proverbial backyard.
Offering customized charter packages and one-of-a-kind fishing opportunities appear to be working as fishing tourism booking continue to rise.
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