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Minister Encourages British Columbians to #ExploreBC this Thanksgiving Weekend

Oct. 6, 2017 – As part of the $1.1-million provincial investment to assist tourism in wildfire-affected areas, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture is encouraging British Columbians to lend their support by visiting these areas over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

“Thanksgiving is a prime opportunity for British Columbians to head out with friends and family to #exploreBC,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “British Columbia boasts an amazing array of tourist experiences. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to #exploreBC – and especially the areas hit by this summer’s terrible wildfires. Supporting our local economies has never been more important. Many of the hotels, restaurants and attractions in regions impacted by the fires will appreciate your support.”

“B.C.’s tourism sector is strong and looking ahead to continued success in a high-growth global industry,” said Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC. “Though tourism businesses faced incredible challenges from Mother Nature this past summer, we know that fall is an ideal time to travel around British Columbia. Many places that are busy in summer are more relaxed in fall. There is so much to see and do. Our marketing is encouraging all British Columbians to get out and explore their beautiful province.”

Cell Phones Partially to Blame for Steady Rise in BC Rescues

Sept. 11, 2017 – More Interior residents are getting lost in the woods because they’re relying on their cell phones.

The British Columbia Search and Rescue Association released a graph this week that, despite more efforts made at education, shows a steady rise in the number of BC rescues required year to year.

The graph goes back to the early 1990’s when there were between 400 and 600 SAR volunteer deployments in B.C. The number rose to around 700 per year by end of the century.

Since then, the number of rescues required in the B.C. backcountry has reached more than 1,600.

AdventureSmart Provincial Coordinator Sandra Riches admits it’s disappointing.

“It’s somewhat surprising and frustrating,” she says. “We’ve been educating British Columbians for up to 14 years. I know we are making a difference but I would love to see a decrease in those numbers.”

Riches says a growing population and easier access to the backcountry have contributed to the increase, but says our love affair with our cell phones is getting more and more people in trouble.

“They definitely are getting way too reliant on those phones,” she says. “Most of us can’t live without them. People are now relying on them as their communication device, their navigation device and their light source.”

Globe & Mail: Family in High Places

Aug. 7, 2017 – A little fitness, a good pair of boots and a sense of adventure are all you need to hike British Columbia’s mammoth Selkirk Mountains, David Ebner writes. Or are they? An off-trail excursion with his mother puts that thinking to the test.

The mountain slope is steep. If we were skiing, this would be a double black diamond, an ideal challenge on a descent buried in snow, as it is through the long winter. Instead, the month is August and we are hiking, the sun high in the mid-afternoon on a beautiful day, the Selkirk Mountains all around us. The Durrand Glacier backcountry chalet, where we set out from, is in the distance.

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