It’s May and things are already starting to get a lot busier around Chemainus.
The tourists are arriving more regularly on tour buses and individually, signifying what will surely be a hectic few months in town through late spring and summer.
There’s loads of activities on the agenda to draw people here. Many will come on their own just to walk around, enjoying the murals, the Wednesday market or the other features of the season.
Businesses need to be fully prepared for the increased traffic and the spike in potential sales created by the larger number of customers. That means more flexible hours to maximize that potential.
The tourists don’t necessarily arrive only on days that shops plan to be open. They’re going to be here seven days a week. The winter doldrums are over, folks.
There’s two ways shop owners can approach the swelling crowds: just ignore it and conduct business as usual or make a real effort to accommodate people.
It all comes down to personal preference, of course.
Some business owners are happily semi-retired and not worried about the bottom line while others would like to make the most of the situation with visitors around who are ready to spend.
There’s nothing worse for the tourist industry in town than to have people grumbling about stores being closed and not meeting their needs. And it has happened on occasion.
The most diligent businesses stand to profit and make their ventures a success merely by being flexible. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for themselves or the integrity of the town.