Pender Island Chamber of Commerce Article
First let us start by thanking Melody Pender. As the Administrator of the Chamber of Commerce, the Market Info Centre as well as our Driftwood Office have been humming smoothly; meeting the needs of hundreds of visitors. The Website and Facebook pages look stunning, two FoodSafe courses have been held and the Lunch and Learns for the Fall are being planned. Drop in to the new Visitor Bureau and say hello - have a look at the great displays and join the Chamber while you’re there. We are here for you.
This brings us to an important point we would like to highlight at this time of year. The value and importance of tourism on Pender Island. Playing a significant role on our small Island, like it does for the entire Province, tourism provides Pender with significant revenue, tourism activity value and employment opportunities. It links residents and businesses, many of which could not survive if not for the tourists and visitors to our Island.
From the golf course to the bakery, hair salons to the bookstore, bed and breakfasts and restaurants, parks and museums, tourism touches every corner of the Island and involves at least a third of Pender’s residents. Virtually all areas of business on the Island are influenced by tourism. In real numbers, more than 50% of the economy is earned by our weekend cottagers, tourist and visitors.
Supporting and investing in tourism benefits many, not just those earning a living wage from working in the sector. With good planning, tourism in a small community like Pender can help all residents on the Island. Our tourism industry ensures that we have a large, well-supplied grocery store, a gas station, a golf course, 7 restaurants, and the Chamber itself to name but a few benefits. It also provides the government with the required numbers to help improve roads, schools and infrastructure in the Region while also slowly helping Islanders to conserve the environment. Tourism benefits us all. In fact, the Chamber’s vision is to eventually provide a vibrant entrepreneurial tourism industry offering year-round compelling and memorable Pender Island experiences.
Tourism is here to stay. Embrace it and use our tourist dollars to promote a positive image of Pender Island. When you meet tourist or visitors, tell them about the ecological benefits of the saving Pender’s environment, our bountiful beauty, our endangered fish and our tender forests. Use their visits to extoll the joy of living on Pender while teaching tourists about our landscapes and wildlife. Imagine the ripple effect a little education to visitors will have not only to our Island but the rest of the world. Remember that Tourism defines our image, how we see ourselves and how others see us.
Mamie Hutt-Temoana, President, Pender island Chamber of Commerce