Mr. Barefoot seems to think that the fireworks, because they aren’t his cup of tea, aren’t worth the “trouble” that they cause. He figures that they don’t bring out tourists, and are just more hassle than they’re worth.
It’s precicely that type of attitude that has been the demise of many of Vancouver’s community events. All it takes is for a group of people to get it into their heads that a local event doesn’t do enough for the city, and if they squawk loud enough (I’m not insinuating that Darren would be one of said squawkers, all he did was post his opinion on his personal blog), eventually someone listens and without regard to fact or even popular opinion (because the squeaky wheel always gets the grease), the event is cancelled.
Of course, most people that attend events in Vancouver are from the city. No, most of the community events do not directly spawn tourst dollars. A + B does not always directly equal C, but there is a very strong ripple effect that’s felt throughout the city that cannot be denied.
Point A, the one that means the most to me, but the least in terms of direct financial benefit, is that of Community Spirit. Montreal didn’t become the “city of festivals” for the sole benefit of the people of Montreal, it did so in order to try and gain some tourist dollars. But I dare you to find any Canadians that are as proud as Montreallers of the city that they hail from. Not only is it good for those within the community, but it’s good for their attitudes. And even here on the left coast, we’re aware of that civic pride.
Point B is a little lesson in tourism. The overall impression that Vancouver is a world-class city offering world-class events is what will bring people here. Having some of those events occur while they’re here might cause them to stay longer. When people arrive in a city, they usually have somewhat of an itenerary. They’ve also usually got flexibility. If someone is in from out of town and they hear that there is an international fireworks competition taking place within the proximity of their trip, they might just decide to hang on an extra day and take in one of the shows.
That tourist is now spending extra on another night in their hotel, on their rental car, and food for the day. Perhaps they’re staying with relatives, but they’re sure to purchase something somewhere on that extra day. Darren also mentioned that “It’s not particularly benefitting the local businesses (regardless, they’re business that don’t need much help).” I strongly suspect that if you were to talk to the extra staff on at Milestone’s or the Boathouse on English Bay who are getting extra hours and extra tips on those four days, and will spend that extra cash in and around the city they would disagree (or complain that working means they can’t go out and enjoy that “worthless” event). Same goes for the countless hotdog and refreshment vendors who will cash in bigtime on those four days, and spend their commission on whatever it is they spend their money on.
Of course the corporations that own almost everything these days will cash in on the profits, but even though the trickle down doesn’t happen as it ideally should, the benefits are there.
What do you all think? Am I totally off my rocker? Can we all put up with a few days of distraction and disruption in our everyday routine for the betterment of the city?