ABBOTSFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – July 27, 2010) – With BC Day around the corner, scores of travelers are about to plan their long weekend getaway, and Lower Mainland attractions are expected to be at the top of the wish list. Travel experts are predicting travelers will opt for the trending “staycations” this year, as most people are expected to cut back spending with the recent introduction of the HST tax. In fact, according to a recent Ipsos Reid Survey, 70 per cent of British Columbians polled said they will spend less on restaurant meals after July 1 and 61 per cent said they will cut spending on professional sporting events, live theatre and music concerts. It’s expected that “staycations” will be the summer vacation choice this year as many locals will choose to stay around town and take advantage of local deals and incentives.
“With the introduction of the HST, many travelers are being smart about how they spend their summer vacation,” says Christine Lane, Director of Sales for the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre in Abbotsford. “Abbotsford has been receiving a lot of attention as one of BC’s 5 ‘Hot Pockets’, which has brought a lot more local and lower mainland residents to Ramada, coupled with discounts for our guests, local families are able to enjoy an affordable day-trip or weekend getaway to the valley.”
Although increases in food and everyday service prices might throw a wrench into travel plans, BC Residents seem to have no problem staying local and experiencing all that BC has to offer. Tourism British Columbia has executed a series of ads surrounding the beauty of BC in an effort to encourage “staycations”, coupled with Olympic attention, BC residents are choosing more affordable day-trips rather than expensive long-term trips. According to Kevin Krueger, British Columbia’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts; “We’ve also enhanced the HelloBC website by increasing interactive options for maps and information to help visitors enjoy some of our most spectacular driving routes.”
“Most people don’t realize that Abbotsford has a lot of great local artists and great farmers markets and now with the addition of the new Bakerview EcoDairy, there are more inexpensive excursions for families in the Valley. We’ve already seen an increase in nightly bookings this month and are expecting an influx in tourists from Vancouver and the Okanagan,” says Lane.