We hear numerous mentions of Summerland tourism… Summerland is a “tourist town” we are reminded some more at SCEDT public meetings…
Then there’s a letter to the editor discussing jobs and the economy in Summerland. The letter mentions in passing that the apple/orchard industry is on its knees.
And this all brings to mind the photos SCEDT uses to promote Summerland as a tourist town. I have no problem with those “lifestyle” or “tourism” pictures… photos of beautiful scenery, apples, blossoms, bins and orchards have since day one been promoting the sale of Okanagan real estate for heaven’s sake!
The skilled professionals who move here to open their photography businesses deserve to earn a living just like anyone else…and the photos are beautiful!
But let’s not neglect that local growers are seriously HURTING and have been for years! The packing plant has shut down and the folks that DID “work there” no longer DO “work there”.
Is it not a little “off” to be promoting tourism on the backs of that?
Could it even be perceived as a bit unethical when, really, its all about getting visitors to stroll the Main Street shops? Or to eat at our restaurants?
Really, truth be told, tourists are being courted to “golf here”, right? And, don’t forget to buy some wine to take home with you!
It’s all fine, really…except for those growers… and for the folks who DO want to “live here” but cannot, because they only used to be able to “work here”.
Now they should just “visit here” I guess.
I know if I was the one slugging it out trying to make a living in my orchard, I would not appreciate, literally, the fruits of my effort being used to promote Summerland only as a “tourist town” for Main St shops, for golfing, dining, wineries & “festivals” while it’s a constant struggle to make a living, and the kids have no job opportunities in their future here.