Squamish has pivoted from an industrial town to one that embraces tourism.
With that have come benefits and challenges.
Tourism Squamish has launched another online survey that closes on July 7 to learn more about what locals think of how our town absorbs tourism.
(There are possible prizes if you fill out the survey.)
This iteration is similar to a previous survey undertaken by Tourism Squamish in April of 2021.
"This year’s survey, however, is different in that it asks residents more detailed questions about their perspectives on the benefits and challenges of tourism in Squamish. It also asks residents to write in their ideas for solutions to those challenges," reads a news release about the survey.
The 2021 survey found that almost 90% of residents either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement “tourism is good for Squamish."
Residents also expressed concerns about some negative impacts of visitors, including
traffic, parking and obstacles to accessing natural spaces.
“This year, we want to build on that knowledge by asking very specific questions about these issues,” said Tourism Squamish executive director Lesley Weeks in the release. “For instance, if parking is a problem, in which areas in Squamish have residents experienced that problem? What could be done to fix the problem? The goal is to give us as much information as possible in order to work proactively with the District of Squamish and other agencies to tackle issues and find solutions.”
The organization is working with the research firm Politikos Research on the surveys.
This survey is the first part of a two-phase study that Tourism Squamish has commissioned in 2022.
The second part, an identical survey of residents, will be open for resident participation in the fall.
“By asking residents about their views on the benefits and challenges of tourism in Squamish before and after the peak season, we hope to get a better understanding of how different levels of tourism activity affect resident sentiment,” said Heather Kawaguchi, Tourism Squamish's director of member relations.
The survey can be found www.politikosresearch.ca/tourism .
**Please note, this story has been corrected since it first went online. Originally, the final quote was attributed incorrectly. It was said by Heather Kawaguchi, not Doug Munroe as first stated. The Squamish Chief apologizes for this error.