A premier ecotourism destination in BC,Tahsis, is well known for its sport fishing and community spirit.

A premier ecotourism destination in BC,Tahsis, is well known for its sport fishing and community spirit.

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

Tahsis has opened its gates to visitors, with “guidelines in place to keep the community safe,” after almost two months of COVID-19 hiatus.

Following in step with B.C.’s plan to restart certain local businesses, Tahsis has allowed restaurants and other small businesses that rely on the summer tourism season to reopen.

“It is going to be a tough year for those that rely on tourism,” said Davis.

During summer, tourists come to Tahsis for sport fishing and other adventure sport activities such as diving and caving.

With half of Tahsis’ fishing tourism business originating from the U.S., there is expected to be a 50 per cent reduction for businesses in these sectors, said mayor Martin Davis.

Fishing guides, who rely on a “highly seasonal income,” will have trouble “paying bills this summer,” said Davis.

Local business will follow WorkSafe B.C. guidelines, and open in a “limited fashion, being mindful of COVID-19 protocols,” said the mayor.

In April, Tahsis had issued a notice asking visitors to stay away to avoid strain on their limited medical resources and to protect the high proportion of vulnerable citizens.

READ MORE: Tahsis ‘all in’ on social distancing, so village asks you to stay out

While there are still concerns with the reopening, there was also a need to give local businesses a chance to survive.

“We have to find a balance between protecting our most vulnerable citizens and not destroying our local economy, which wouldn’t recover as easily as in larger centres,” said Davis.

While there are no cases of the virus in Tahsis, the mayor said that they would like to “keep it that way.”

Visitors have been asked to exercise caution while visiting Tahsis and follow social distancing protocols.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 has also been asked to stay at home and not come to Tahsis.

READ ALSO : Island mayor confident of small community’s ‘resilience’ in ‘trial’

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