Alberni tourism series and eye opener

It was a refreshing experience to read what June Kasperski-Wild, the “Intentional Tourist”, had to say about the Alberni Valley.

To the Editor,

It was a refreshing experience to read what June Kasperski-Wild, the “Intentional Tourist”, had to say about our Valley.

I have seen everything she talks about. The hardest for me was to accept that our Centennial celebrations were not advertised anywhere outside of our local papers.

I saw a Vancouver Sun summer supplement, where every tiny craft fair and music festival from Merritt to Port Hardy was mentioned – but not a word about our town.

When I asked about it in an informal meeting, the explanation was: Chamber of Commerce spent all its money and energy building the new information center.

I usually read this paper very carefully, and remember seeing an article about a new tourism liaison person, who was hired a couple of years ago. What happened to her?

What happened to the new “Bear claws” logo, which was produced at a great cost? All the city trucks and business licenses still use the old one. Surely the money spent there could have bought a little story in the Sun or Colonist.

I disagree with the writer about the Valley being more beautiful in the winter than in the summer. In winter, all the new and used car lots, junkyards, unkempt yards and unpainted walls are more clearly visible, than in the summer.

Judging from the five o’clock traffic going over the hump to Parksville and Qualicum, not many working people like living here.

Some commute even from Courtenay and Nanaimo. We are just being used as a thoroughfare to Tofino, and a paycheck for the east side communities. That’s a depressing thought.

When I went to a local (tourism based) business to talk about the proposed coal port, saying it would not be very beneficial to their business, the answer was: “Port Alberni is ugly anyway”.  Wow.

With a little change of attitude from the powers on top, down to us lowly local citizens, this could be the prettiest little town on Vancouver Island. But does anyone care?

Rayana Erland,

Port Alberni