Dear Editor:

It was great to read the recent letters about economic development for the valley. Mayor Gerry Taft and Mr. David Pacey are focusing on great future values for the area. However, I also cant seem to share their views about tourism industry. I share more the views of Nick Berzins positive look at the tourism industry.

I believe it is time to start looking at what we have. This amazing area isnt just to be ignored or easily forgotten. People who travel here admire the beauty of what makes this area paradise. There is no room for excuses about why tourism isnt a great industry here.

The transition from the current second-homeowner industry to a fully developed tourism industry isnt difficult or complicated. Only a few steps need attention to follow this transition:

1) Increase marketing of this area in Canada and overseas.

2) Foster a closer relationship between the District of Invermere and the Regional District East Kootenay, their chamber of commerce and all their local businesses related to the tourism industry. Also, research guest opinion and feedback as well as positively support great solutions to allow maximum guest experience, which will ensure new and returning visitors to the area.

3) Add on to existing events and create new events in all aspects of this area including Nature and its seasons, sports, music, culture and arts, towns and their downtown areas and town parks.

Looking around to see what we already have will make us realize that all it takes is to build on the existing base of local tourism industry or second-homeowner industry that we are blessed with. Making these positive steps will bring more recognition to the area, and make it even more desirable, consequently growing the area economically.

Look around and see what you see; you are in paradise and now is the time to show that it is paradise.

Andrea Meadus