Trails may not be the reason tourists arrive on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, but once they do get here and see what kind of hiking opportunities there are, they lace up and start walking.
That’s the finding that has prompted Tourism Vancouver Island to embark on a plan to ‘leverage’ visitors’ interest in the outdoors by making it easier for them to find trails, and for regions and municipalities to maintain them.
“When surveys show that 50% of visitors to Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast choose to go hiking during their visits here, even if it was not their primary motivation for coming, it makes sense to leverage that fact and create a plan to effectively market, manage, and improve the hiking trails in the region,” says a Nov. 9 release.
In Phase 1 of the project 235 ‘market ready’ trails were identified. “Now that we have that baseline data, we can start the work of developing a strategic plan to align visitor needs and expectations with the supply of trails here on the Island and Sunshine Coast,” said CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island Dave Petryk.
Not only are the trails a draw for visitors, they are a factor in businesses locating on the Island.
“Employees today are seeking work-life balance, and with advances in technology like broadband internet, many companies no longer need to be in major metropolitan areas to be successful,” said Island Coast Economic Trust Chair Phil Kent..