Tourist numbers on the increase

Despite a rainy summer, the Shuswap has seen tourism numbers rise over the last year

Despite a rainy summer, the Shuswap has seen tourism numbers rise over the last year, as more people choose the area as their travel destination.

Robyn Cyr, economic development officer for Shuswap Tourism, presented Chase council with some of the year’s statistics and figures during the committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Cyr reported not only seeing spikes in the usual times of year such as the weeks leading up to the Roots and Blues Festival, but also throughout the off-season as well.

She attributes some of the rise to the organization’s presence at regional and national tourism trade shows where the word was spread about all the Shuswap has to offer.

The Chase council also pointed out that even during the off- months, winter sports such as hockey are filling the gap more and more, meaning that soon there might not be an off-season.

Cyr also reported seeing Shuswap Tourism website traffic double, with most of its users staying on the site for at least three minutes or more. This, says Cyr, means they do not just accidently end up here, but are clicking on things and looking around to see what is offered.

Cyr presented council with a brief overview of the organization’s marketing strategy over the next two years, which includes getting ads in travel guides as well as attending many more tourism trade shows.

These shows, she says, are a great way to get the word out about the area. This year’s big event is taking place in Ontario which, Cyr says, is where many of the Shuswap tourists travel from.

Shuswap Tourism is also trying to include more coverage of the Chase area in their travel guides, adding locations such as Pete Murray’s Farm and the local fruit stand to their listings.

One of the biggest problems with local tourism is that many people do not realize what is available in their own backyard, says Cyr.

She has found that many people are surprised at some of the things offered and has, on numerous occasions, given them brochures to take home for themselves or for family members when they come to visit.


Salmon Arm Observer