VICTORIA – With so many tourists in downtown Victoria Wednesday afternoon business was booming. But a report commissioned by Tourism Victoria shows the tourism industry is fragile. Compared to 2007, overnight spending by tourists was down last year by 0 million. “We want people to understand that the numbers don’t lie,” Tourism Victoria CEO Rob Gialloreto tells /A\ News “Whether you are a small business or a large business, or whether you are a resident in James Bay or Saanich, tourism is everybody’s business. It’s one of the major drivers of our economy and it needs to be healthy”. The report concludes if tourism drops as much as 25 percent, businesses will close and as many as 26 hundred industry jobs would be lost. The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce doesn’t believe Victoria is headed for a drastic downturn, but it thinks the report highlights issues government should consider. The Bay Centre believes to strengthen the market more events such as the Buskers’ Festival should be encouraged. The shopping centre’s General Manager says the event raised sales in the shopping centre by as much as four percent. Tourism Victoria says that’s a start, but it suggests to be truly successful more people need to be aware, and get on board. Follow Stephen Andrew on Twitter – www.twitter.com

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