Tourism business owners unhappy with idea of 'B.C. bubble'

As the Horgan government considers a "B.C. bubble," tourism business owners say the solution to COVID-19 is more health protocol education of tourists.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government not to pursue plans to ban domestic travel in their efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The coalition of tourism and accommodation associations from Vancouver, Richmond and Greater Victoria says the government must steer away from an outright ban and work instead with the industry and communities to better educate travelers on health and safety protocols.

Vivek Sharma, chair of the Tourism Industry Association of B.C., says a non-essential travel ban would heighten unnecessary fears and misperceptions toward visitors and further cripple the already struggling sector.

Premier John Horgan said earlier this week his government is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel.

Sharma says the Association has a legal opinion stating a travel ban would be difficult to implement due to Canada's mobility rights provisions, but the industry is not looking for a legal confrontation with the province.

Sharma says the spread of COVID-19 is not tied to where people live but how they behave.

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