Tough competing with weather in the tourism business

There are some instances where it is probably futile to try and change vacationers' habits

Easter weekend generally marks the first camping trip of the season for many die hard Okanagan – Similkameen RV and trailer owners.

This year was no exception as Canadian campers hit Highways 3, 3A and 97 throughout the Easter long weekend. The sunny skies and warm temperatures didn’t hurt either.

Many of those Canadians that hit the road this past weekend ended up heading for a well known destination amongst the RV crowd – the municipal campground located at the rodeo grounds in Omak, Washington.

A quick tour of the park on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday revealed an extremely high per centage of British Columbia plates. Many of those who make the short journey across the line to Omak are regulars, especially during the Easter weekend.

“It was nice at home when we left, but it’s nicer here,” said one weekend arrival, noting that the weather could usually be counted on to be a little warmer and sunnier than north of the 49th parallel.

Add to that the comparative value one gets for camping fees, alcohol and some consumer goods, as well as the campground’s convenience and proximity to things Canadians seek south of the border, and Omak scores pretty high marks for many RV enthusiasts who are putting the first kilometres of the year on their units.

Local tourism planners might do well to note Okanagan- Similkameen residents’ view of camping choices during the early spring, if for nothing else than to avoid wasting their promotional efforts.

For in spite of our best efforts to promote our own campgrounds, (which surely have their superior merits at certain times of the year), there may be some instances where we need to realize that we can’t compete – and put our promotional efforts to use in the places where we can.