In recent years the Alberni Valley has been significantly impacted by the decline of the resource sector and has recognized the need to diversify its local economy. As the gateway to the Pacific Rim, more than 700,000 tourists pass through the community on their way to Tofino and Ucluelet, but too few were stopping to enjoy the tourism amenities in the Alberni Valley. The project involved building a new 3800 square foot Visitor Centre, in a high visibility location, at the fork to the entrance to Port Alberni. This modern log building, with front doors featuring First Nations carvings, was designed to reflect the region’s people, industries and attractions. It includes state of the art visitor facilities, meeting space, cultural displays and information about industry and business opportunities. Completed in 2011, the Visitor Centre provides visitors with information around local culture, attractions, accommodations and services to inspire travellers to stay longer and explore. It also serves as a first point of contact for potential residents and investors. The project is expected to increase the length of tourist stays in the region and generate an additional $1.8 million in annual income for the sector.