After the BP oil spill in the Gulf, a coalition of groups opposed to the tar sands development in Alberta decided to protest by encourageing people NOT to visit Alberta. In other words rethink your decision to become an Alberta tourist.
After my column protesting the protest I received, as did the Winnipeg Free Press, comments about my tirade…suggesting somehow that as a travel agent I was acting purely in self interest.
What was not recognized is the fact that travel agents in Manitoba, or for that matter anywhere else in Canada, make little or no revenue from packages to Alberta.
Perhaps commissions off the occasional air fare but really, there is much more money in sending you to far off places.
I said I was appalled by the campaign. That mixing tourism and politics to me is abhorrent.
It is not about there issue. but their means of communicating and trying to create pressure that offends me.
very country has something we could protest against, and to do so is right and just. But to target an industry whose goals throughout its history is to promote peace through tourism takes the protest to an unrelated tangent.
Should we stop all tourism to Cuba because it is a Castro controlled regime?
Should we stop visiting and trading with China because it is a communist country, where protests like this would not even be allowed.
Should we stay away from countries because of the times corruption in their government has been unveiled?
Should we stop going to the sun destinations we support because the trickle down theory seems not to be working.
Individually we can make these decisions, but to create publicity through an unrelated industry that employs people doing the very opposite work, from which they are protesting, makes no sense.
Now this coalition of groups that has undertaken this campaign to another level…trying to convince US and Canadian travel agents to Rethink Alberta and stop sending visitors to that friendly and scenic province.
This is one writer who believes they should rethink their strategy.
In my column I committed to initiating my own protest by visiting the beautiful mountains of Alberta. I will try to get back to Banff and Lake Louise, and I will definitely spend time in that growing and progressive city of Edmonton, that is the capital of the province.
I did rething Alberta, And Alberta, here I come.