August 4, 2014 9:04 pm

WATCH: Tourist info controversy continues despite positive numbers

VERNON – Vernon’s new downtown visitors centre reports in its first full month of operation the number of visitors was up 12.1 per cent compared to the number of people who came into its old south location last July.

The city used to have two tourist information centres north and south of the downtown core.

Those are now closed and have been replaced with a centralized location on 39th Avenue.

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Critics of the planned move raised concerns that if visitors couldn’t find or access the new location they might take their tourism dollars elsewhere.

Some still don’t believe local politicians made the right decision on the issue.

“It’s not the people, but the location is just wrong. People have actually got to find it rather than have it come to them,” says Mike Mattinson, who operates Silver Star Bed and Breakfast.

Some city councillors are waiting to see the final numbers for the season before drawing their conclusions about the move.

Vernon councillor Mary-Jo O’Keefe says the recommendation for a centralized downtown information centre came from the city’s Tourism Advisory Committee, which includes local businesses that make their money off of tourist dollars.

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