Am I down with DST? No, you know me! Daylight Savings Time (DST) has been the scourge of my existence as a parent and educator (and shiftwork employer) for some time.
Actually, that’s not accurate! I’m a fan of DST and want to make it a permanent fixture; leaving us with an extra hour of daylight in the evenings simply by not setting the clocks back in the fall (and leaving them alone forever after).
Recently I was asked by a local TV station to share my thoughts on DST and the tourism industry. Here are my musings on why a permanent time shift forward in BC would be beneficial:
More outdoor play when consumers want it. Parks usage studies in the UK show that evenings are becoming increasingly popular recreation times (over mornings) as the local market seeks these activities after working hours.
Healthier for residents. A Washington state economist asserts that daylight saving hours in the evening lead to an increase in recreation and a decrease in screen time. And this is in addition to avoiding the well-documented risks of the time change which include heart attacks and traffic accident upticks.
Healthier for staff. I myself have had challenges with DST, as once per year I’ve experienced staff showing up late for shifts, or falling prey to sleep-related challenges. We’re a people-based service industry and this can only keep our front-line staff more alert and prepared.
On brand. As a recreation-focused, Super Natural brand, with BC residents constituting half of our own leisure tourism spending, this move would encourage more outdoors fun by the guests that matter.
Fewer administrative headaches. As an industry based on itineraries (departures and arrivals, reservations, or check-in times) we are forced to update our systems and records twice a year. By keeping a consistent time zone we save pain and effort (and errors) from having to adjust these twice a year.
Despite these advantages, the drawbacks might include:
Changes for small niche operators in transportation and other sectors. I’m not privy to the schedules of Harbour Air, but my guess would be that the shift in daylight to the evening would impact their operations (they only fly during daylight). This could also be a challenge for daylight-dependent wildlife viewing or fishing … although I can’t imagine guests objecting to an extra hour of sleep (over previous years’ itineraries).
The need for harmonization with other markets like Alberta, Washington, and Oregon. Our DST plan would need to be consistent with changes in these top BC traveler markets to ensure seamless transition for our visitors.
I’m far from the definitive expert in this area, but I did my best to bring these points to the fore. You can watch the piece here.
I pop up around the 10-minute mark in Part 1.
How do you feel about the time shift in BC? Let me know in the comments.