Against all Odds – Wells Gray Tours Makes Bella Coola Happen!
If you follow our blogs, you may remember that in December of 2017 I wrote one called “It’s No Ferry Tale” about the reestablishment of the much needed ferry route from Port Hardy to Bella Coola. This very important water route provides travellers with access to not only spectacular scenery, but an alternate route for goods and a circular route for tourism that promotes the Bella Coola Valley, Cariboo and Chilcotin regions. After the devastating fires of 2017, the return of this ferry service was even more important to businesses in that area.
Wells Gray Tours loves this picturesque region of BC and immediately made plans for two tours to the region leaving in July & August 2018. On Tuesday, July 10 at 4:35pm Wells Gray Tours along with tourism industry partners received the devastating news that the ferry had been cancelled for the summer! With only seven days before departure, 48 customers looking forward to their holiday, hotels, restaurants and attractions booked and counting on this business, we felt we had to find a way to make this happen, so our amazing team jumped into action. Looking at all the options we quickly realized that flying from Port Hardy into Bella Coola kept the most important elements of the tour in tact. However, finding an airline that had both crew and planes available that could fly into the Bella Coola airport provided a new set of challenges. Three days and 5 airlines later, we were successful!
Having been on this tour a few years ago, I know our customers are going to be happy with the revised schedule, enjoy an amazing part of BC and be grateful their holiday was not cancelled. We believe in our motto; “We Plan, You Pack, No Worries”, and this situation provides a great example of how our team worked behind the scenes to make sure our tour could go ahead.
Initial conversations with BC Ferries indicate that they will assist in sharing the extra costs incurred by Wells Gray Tours, however, corporate wheels sometimes turn slowly, and our staff felt the most important element was our clients travel plans. The financial impact on our industry and colleagues counting on the revenue from these tours were also a big consideration. Working together when an unplanned event occurs is what keeps our tourism industry strong in BC.
Written by: Joan Niemeier