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The Resort of British Columbia

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The article further expounds that: “Its developers were eyeing the international and not the local market for the new global commodities: condos in resort towns. I predict it will not be long until condos in what I call the ‘Portal Cities’ — Vancouver, Dubai, Hong Kong, Panama City and Miami — are traded on stock exchanges like commodities.”

Back at the Kelowna conference, following a session tour of the South Okanagan, Mr. Boddy proclaimed that “we are making B.C. a high end resort and we will have a very difficult future . He continued that B.C.’s history has been dependant on the commodity markets and in the 2000s we are no longer exploiting gold, lumber or fish but rather the focus has now turned to waterfront, mountainside, and golf course real estate.

These observations were further confirmed by the focus of the individual sessions. Interestingly, most of the topics discussed at the 2007 Mountain Town and Resort Planners Summit were front and centre at the Kelowna conference. In particular, I attended presentations on innovative affordable housing initiatives in Langford, resort development in the emerging resorts in the North Okanagan, sustainability practices in community planning and the impacts of residential vs. accommodation real estate on municipal revenues. It was incredible to learn the innovative approaches B.C.’s planners and municipalities are implementing to address the rapid changes to the social, economic and ecological wellbeing of their communities.

The direction to embrace tourism and resort development in British Columbia is consistent with a September 2004 statement made by Premier Gordon Campbell: “Tourism remains one of our strongest strategic building blocks, and a huge strategic advantage for every region of the province. B.C. has the world’s most spectacular places, diverse cultures, amenities and landscapes and amazing resorts. We want to work with the tourism industry to ensure we provide funding in the most effective way possible to double tourism revenues, and to make sure communities across B.C. can achieve their full tourism potential.”

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