VOICES: Improving local tourism in Cumberland

Genevieve Burdett

Genevieve Burdett, Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society
Executive Director

“(Just after COVID started, last March) I had to redo our budget with all zeros in the revenue column. We knew we could last one year, but likely not two. When we applied for the (ICET) grant in June 2020, we had no idea where we’d land.

This campground was deeded to the Village in 1935 and, as recommended in our town’s Economic Development Strategy, we were already considering expanding the number of sites at some point. The lack of accommodation in Cumberland, means that people do not stay in our town, which means they don’t use our local businesses.

(Last) summer we saw more cycle tourism and had 100% occupancy the entire summer. We knew we needed to increase the number of sites.

This year, our reservation for week-long bookings opened on March 25th, with general bookings having just opened, on April 1st.

So far, bookings are really strong – there’s over four times the demand compared to last year! People are clearly very motivated to get out camping this year, so it is wonderful to have more sites and options to offer.

We’re still getting the word out about the new sites, as a lot of people don’t know about them, and they are really beautiful!

This project has been key to improving local tourism. Camping is always on the rise and offers a different way to experience nature, opposed to gravel site or drive-in campgrounds.”


The “Walk-in Campsites Pilot Project”  received $8,789 through the Small Capital Restart program.
Funds were used to address the closure of a number of Cumberland Lake Park campground sites due to Provincial health and safety requirements by adding new, physically distanced, walk-in sites. Six new tent pads and two new common areas with fire rings, picnic tables and a metal food cache are now situated within a 20-metre walk into a forested area overlooking Comox Lake.