Energy crunch

People everywhere are feeling the energy crunch. In Fort Frances, gas prices read $1.19 today.
BP, one of the largest oil producers in the world announced Monday the shutting down of Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska. The oil field supplies five percent of the oil that is produced in the United States.
That announcement sent ripples through the economy. Oil prices moved marginally up for a day and then lowered.
Adjusted for inflation, gas prices today are at an all time high.
This year, spotter boats in the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship spent more money on fuel while the number of litres of fuel used actually was less.
Traffic across the bridge joining Fort Frances and International Falls has declined marginally from previous years. Fewer tourists are choosing to drive into Canada having been warned of the gas pump price shock.
Full-size truck and SUV sales have dropped across Canada and the district.
A recent survey has shown that Canadians overall are choosing to drive fewer kilometres than in previous years. Canadians are now beginning to choose vehicles that provide better fuel economy.
The price of fuel has a major impact on the health of the communities across Rainy River District. It impacts on the cost of growing crops, the movement of raw wood to the mills in the district, and the transportation of our youth to schools.
It affects tourist camps and retailers the same.
Some camps have already put together bus group transportation programs to bring their guests from large urban areas. It is an innovative move. Are there other opportunities to fly tourists to destinations directly from Chicago, or Minneapolis on a charter basis?
To maintain our tourist industry, we will have to find innovative ways to attract people to our resorts to enjoy the “Canadian Experience.”
This year, the Northwestern Ontario Tourism Association (NWOTA) will be doing a study to determine what are the barriers to attracting visitors to our region. Hopefully, the study will shed light on ways to improve the tourism industry and attract new visitors to the region.