Horne Lake Caves. (Photo submitted)

Horne Lake Caves. (Photo submitted)

Horne Lake Caves open thanks to BC Tourism Resiliency Network

‘It’s been a thin, tenuous line and continues to be’

Last fall, Horne Lake Caves was closed during the second wave of the pandemic but now once again provide single-family bubble tours.

The Vancouver Island attraction continues to walk a financial tightrope due to the ongiong pandemic, but its director, Richard Varela, said one of the few silver linings is the support they’ve received from the BC Tourism Resiliency Network.

“In my 32 years with Horne Lake Caves, there has never been a year like this. It’s been a thin, tenuous line and continues to be. We have salaries and fixed costs – and frankly the current situation is scary,” said Varela. “The BC Tourism Resiliency Network has allowed us to remain hopeful that things will turn around. Without their support, we may have been forced to close.”

READ MORE: OP-ED: 1 year into pandemic, B.C.’s tourism sector hopes for a light at the end of the tunnel

Tourism resiliency support is delivered through five tourism regions, in this case, the Tourism Association of Vancouver Island.

Through the BC Tourism Resiliency Network, Varela received marketing, HR and financial advice which included assistance that led him to various supports, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and BC Small Business Recovery Grant.

“The pandemic has presented tourism operators with unprecedented challenges, but seeing how the network is assisting people like Richard, demonstrates the value and need for it to continue and support as many businesses as possible,” said CEO Anthony Everett.

More information on the BC Tourism Resiliency Network can be found at www.tourismresiliency.ca.

Further information about Horne Lake Caves can be found at www.hornelake.com.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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