BC New Democrat tourism critic Spencer Chandra-Herbert was in Abbotsford on Friday

BC New Democrat tourism critic Spencer Chandra-Herbert was in Abbotsford on Friday

NDP tourism critic visits Abbotsford

Spencer Chandra-Herbert meets with industry representatives for brief question and answer session.

BC New Democrat tourism critic Spencer Chandra-Herbert was in Abbotsford on Friday to speak with representatives from Abbotsford’s tourism industry.

“It was a good turnout and we talked about a whole range of things,” said Chandra-Herbert.

Discussions ran the gamut from direct flights from Abbotsford to India, agri-tourism, Tradex and circle farm tours.

Chandra-Herbert has been visiting several cities to discuss tourism issues.

“As tourism critic I think it’s important  to actually find out what’s going on, on the ground, to talk to the people who actually make things go. Abbotsford certainly has been under valued in terms of its use and its importance to tourism in B.C.”

He called it a “grass roots” approach to an important issue, though he isn’t sure if it will be a heavily debated topic during the election.

“The voters will decide what the major issues are but I think that tourism is one of the more important issues in terms of economic growth for our province.

He said growth in tourism has been on the decline since 2008.

Joining Chandra-Herbert was Abbotsford-South NDP candidate Lakhvinder Jhaj and Abbotsford-West NDP candidate Sukhi Dhami.

Both candidates are gearing up for the May election.

Dan Stefanson, executive director of Tourism Abbotsford was one of several people who met with Chandra-Herbert and he said the event was more of a question and answer session with two main issues being brought up.

“One was transportation, accessibility to the Fraser Valley from Vancouver, and the other one was to do with the Abbotsford Airport and the leakage (of passengers) to Bellingham.”

Stefanson said it was more of a “meet and greet” than anything else.

“It was very informal.”