Ocean-boating tourists are a significant driver of economic activity for coastal communities. The BC Ocean Boating Tourism Association (BCOBTA) has already completed two phases of a project to develop a boating network and marketing program with the AhoyBC.com website as a central component.
This project extended the marketing and product development efforts to include three remote sub-regions: Broughton Archipelago, Discovery Islands, and Vancouver Island West. These remote sub-regions are less-frequented by marine tourists and boaters, yet account for one-third of all BC ocean boating tourism revenue. Funding for this phase of the project supported the creation of enhanced community profiles, special showcases for remote sub-regions and development of themed circle tours, detailed content for trip planning, and other marketing and communication products to draw marine tourists to these regions.
Anticipated benefits from this project include an increase in marine tourism from both the boating and non-boating segments – including boat charters and visitors to marine resorts, offering wildlife and marine attractions. The project will benefit a variety of sectors including: Indigenous tourism, hospitality, marine goods and services, recreation and transportation. This high value marine traffic will also support business startup and growth opportunities for marine sector services such as boat repair, winter moorage and other related maintenance and technical services.