The project has been profiled in major marine tourist publications of the Pacific NorthWest, further strengthening the region's growing international reputation.
Marine tourism is an important economic driver for southern Vancouver Island. However, a lack of visitor infrastructure had been impeding the sector’s continued expansion. Recognizing the potential of marine tourism for economic diversification and community growth, the Ladysmith Maritime Society undertook a $2 million dollar Visitor Facilities project, which added a series of key infrastructure components to promote and increase large-scale marine tourism within the region. Marine tourism has grown at a considerable pace since the project’s 2012 completion.
The enhanced visitor amenities have captured the attention of several well-known boating magazines and web sites. This has resulted in a growing demand to host boater rendezvous’ — especially for larger events which previously exceed the Marina’s capacity.
To increase the Marina’s ability to accommodate larger boater meetups, the project (completed in 2014) increased the length of the visitor dock by 150 feet, including moorage for larger vessels. Project works included pile driving, construction of the 150 foot dock and electrical and water installation.
It is expected that that this modest investment in improved facilities will add an additional 320 visitor boat nights, generating an additional $72,000 in direct economic activity with a total additional spinoff of $130,000 annually. This additional spending helps to retain and enhance the competitiveness of local businesses and promote ongoing growth in the marine sector, including hardware, boat repair and marine technology. On a broader scale, the project helped to further strengthen the Island and Coastal region’s rising reputation as a preferred destination for large-scale marine tourism.