Popular tourist spots prompt measures to send visitors elsewhere
Some tourism hotspots in British Columbia have attracted so many people they’re becoming a victim of their own success – with various levels of government taking unusual steps to discourage visitors.
The B.C. government has now made it a policy to no longer advertise high-traffic places like Joffre Lakes and Quarry Rock to tourists, striking them from websites like HelloBC.
The idea is to “support geographic and seasonal dispersion of visitors away from busy areas and times of year,” said a spokesperson – another way of saying they want visitors to head elsewhere.
At Deep Cove, next to Quarry Rock, one District of North Vancouver councillor said parking is a huge problem, prompting new parking restrictions and a ban on tour buses.
But those may not be enough, said Lisa Muri, adding that the district council will explore pay parking for non-residents in the fall.
“It’s not pleasant when you drive through an area and you are one with nature and you have to battle a traffic jam,” Muri said.
At Joffre Lakes, one trail builder has proposed another answer to over-crowding than discouraging visitors: build more.
Dani Schranz told the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District that machine-built trails to Rohr Lake, Cassiope Lake, Taylor Lake and Duck Lake would absorb demand and give everyone a place to hike – and park.