The Tourism Talks column is sponsored by Tourism Revelstoke.
Over a span of six weeks this fall, Tourism Revelstoke collected survey responses on our Destination Management Planning Survey. Over 1100 residents responded, giving us valuable insights as we embark on planning for the future of tourism in Revelstoke.
Overall, Revelstoke residents rated the quality of life here as an 8/10. However, there is clearly a concern that the trajectory of the quality of life is decreasing, with 48% of respondents saying that they felt the quality of life was getting worse, 29% saying it seemed to be staying the same, and 23% saying it’s getting better.
Our residents love living here but are concerned about our future.
It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this column that the issue of greatest concern to residents was affordable housing, with 74% of respondents rating it as “very important.”
“I think it would just be well balanced, especially in terms of housing,” writes a resident in response to the survey. “I don’t want to see what I see in a tourist town like Whistler. I worry that tourist towns aren’t communities anymore…We need to have people working here. We can’t just have people working from home. Yes, these people are working and contributing to society but they’re not really contributing to our community.”
The next issues of concern were income & employment and mental health & well-being, which were essentially tied. Additionally, 87% of residents surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that tourism in Revelstoke results in an increase in the cost of living.
We asked respondents to consider what they wanted Revelstoke to look like in 2073, with the idea that thinking so far into the future would encourage broader thinking and more ambitious idea generation. While many were hopeful about Revelstoke’s future, the trepidation was clear, particularly with respect to climate change.
“[I hope in 2073 we have] taken serious action against climate change. If our lives look anything like they do now, we’ve done something right. We would be lucky to have the same,” comments a Revelstoke resident in their survey response.
Our job in better-managing tourism in Revelstoke is clear. We need to ensure that tourism makes residents’ lives more liveable rather than contributing to unaffordability. Tourism Revelstoke’s Destination Management Plan, along with full survey results, will be released in 2023.
Here are some other survey responses from Revelstoke residents:
“The world is going to be a very different place if we as a human race cannot address climate change.”
“A thriving Revelstoke in 2073, in my eyes, is a Revelstoke with greatly increased cultural diversity that maintains the identity that makes the town unique.”
“People that get to enjoy the beauty get to enjoy their lifestyle here, and there are other people who are working their butts off that are just trying to survive in the same environment.”