North Vancouver Island offers a wealth of tourism possibilities that focus on the natural environment and unique culture of the region. Developing ecotourism, adventure and cultural tourism opportunities will stimulate economic activity for accommodation and service providers as well as retailers and restaurants. While many communities in the North Island region have individually promoted their own attractions there was never a sustained, integrated approach to packaging and marketing tourism for the region as a whole.
In 2010, the North Vancouver Island Integrated Tourism Plan was developed focusing on the implementation of a coordinated regional tourism function and strategy across the North Island. The Regional District of Mount Waddington joined forces with Tourism Vancouver Island to develop and manage a tourism destination plan that included the creation of a dedicated North Island tourism office and coordinator along with the establishment of a Vancouver Island North Tourism Advisory Committee, comprised of local tourism industry stakeholders. This combination of expertise led to the creation of a unique regional tourism brand used in destination marketing tools distributed widely and featured on a content rich website promoting numerous locations and experiences to potential tourists over the web. Over 140 North Island tourism businesses have participated in the coordinated marketing opportunities offered by Vancouver Island North Tourism. A hotel room tax was established in 2010 to ensure long-term sustainability of the initiative.
The steady growth of a sustainable tourism industry in the North Vancouver Island region celebrates both the environmental and cultural diversity of the area while creating long-term jobs for residents who wish to continue living in this world renowned natural environment. The strategy has strengthened the region’s positioning as a destination for wilderness, marine and land-based experiences.